Book 11 Notes from Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost Book 11

Adam and Eve's prayers fly up to heaven, and the Son calls their prayers "fruits" - an ironic metaphor after all that has transpired. He tells God that the redeemed should dwell with him in bliss, and God agrees, but says for now they can no longer dwell in Paradise. To that end, God commands Michael to drive Adam and Eve out of Paradise to the east side of the garden of Eden, and guard all passage to the Tree of Life.

Back on earth, Adam tells Eve that he thinks God will let them live. Eve is happy at this news, although she still feels at fault for everything. She tells Adam they should go work in the fields. Then, Michael appears, not as an angel but as a man in a purple military vest, holding a sword and spear. He tells them he's taking them away, and Eve laments. Adam fears this new place and leaving Eden, which he believes is his only consolation. Still, he knows he cannot change God's mind. He tells Michael he is sad that he won't be able to show his children the places he saw God, but Michael insists it doesn't matter since God is omnipresent.

While Eve sleeps, Michael instructs Adam to follow him to the top of a hill. From there, he can see much of the world. Michael shows him a scene of two men offering sacrifices. One kills the other by stabbing him with a stone in the midriff; Michael explains that these men are Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve's first sons. Horrified, Adam listens as Michael explains that man will die from both violence and diseases, and looks at people suffering from myriad maladies. After Adam weeps, Michael explains that all this can be avoided by temperance in eating and drinking. He also explains that people will lose their beauty and strength as they age.

After seeing this, Adam thinks he should die as quickly as possible, but Michael tells him to leave that to heaven to decide. Next, Adam sees what he thinks is a vision of amorous people partying away, but Michael informs him that they are atheists who will die. Then Michael sees a scene of violent battle and carnage, and Michael explains how violent men will be wrongly hailed as heroes. The scene changes to one of inappropriate excess, and only one man emerges who tells everyone to repent. They refuse, and this man, Noah, builds an ark to take animals in pairs and everyone else perishes in the flood. Adam sees the ark stop on top of a mountain. A raven and dove fly out, and the dove returns with an olive branch. Dry ground appears along with a rainbow. Adam rejoices for this man who was found to be perfect and just. Michael explains that after this, God made a covenant to never again destroy the earth by flood.

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