Book 3 Notes from Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost Book 3

The focus shifts from Satan and his dastardly deeds to God and more holy endeavors. Milton makes a second invocation, this time to Holy Light, God himself. He also describes a new goal: to see and tell of things invisible to mortal sight. The reader learns that God and his Son have been looking down at all that has happened so far. God has seen Satan trying to destroy man, and predicts that man will fall easily due to his own volition. God explains that he created man "sufficient to have stood, but free to fall." Book 3, line 99. In other words, man has free will with which he can choose to do right or wrong. God predicts that Adam will eat the fruit of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, even after Adam and Eve have pledged their obedience.

Topic Tracking: Obedience & Disobedience 3

The Son worries about God's prediction, but God assures him he will renew man's powers and that no one will be excluded from mercy. However, man and his all his children for generations will die, unless someone redeems him. No one in heaven volunteers until finally the Son comes forward, choosing to become mortal to save man, predicting his victorious resurrection (recall the scene in Book 2 in which Satan comes forward as the only volunteer to seduce mortal man to his side). In assuming this capacity, the Son receives the ability to judge both bad men and angels. God describes the time of the Last Judgment, when the world will burn and "God shall be all in all." Book 3, line 341.

Topic Tracking: Authorship & Possession 3

After showing the reader this window into the future, Milton returns to the action of Satan. Satan lands on earth, but is distracted when he sees the gate of heaven in the distance. He climbs up a few steps and looks out at the earth in jealousy. Then he is distracted again by the sun and flies over to it. He sees an angel standing on the sun and, knowing his plans will be destroyed if he is discovered, transforms himself into an innocent looking cherub and asks directions to Paradise. Satan recognizes the angel as Archangel Uriel. Satan's disguise deceives Uriel, who thinks the cherub only wants to know about the new world God has created. Uriel relates how, with God, "order from disorder sprung." Book 3, line 713. Finally, Uriel shows Satan the way to Paradise.

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