Book 4 Notes from Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost Book 4

Satan, now back on earth, has a moment of doubt and despair; he comments, "the hell I suffer seems a heav'n." Book 4, line 78. Meanwhile, he has let down his disguise and Uriel realizes that he has been tricked. Satan regains his courage, leaps over the wall of Eden, and sees a magnificent world. Milton describes all the varieties of trees there (finishing with the most important: the Tree of Knowledge) in a lengthy list, another convention of epic literature. Satan turns himself into a seabird and flies into the Tree of Life. Next to it is the Tree of Knowledge. Satan then notices two humans - Adam and Eve. He notices that they are "both not equal, as their sex not equal seemed." Book 4, lines 295-6. Satan explains that Adam's "eye sublime declared absolute rule." Book 4, lines 300-1.

Topic Tracking: Misogyny 1

Satan seems to melt at how harmless and innocent Adam and Eve are as he watches all sorts of animals frolic around them. He hears Adam tell Eve that they must not eat from the Tree of Knowledge, calling it "the only sign of our obedience left" Book 4, line 428, or else God will kill them.

Topic Tracking: Obedience & Disobedience 4

Adam tells Eve they should praise God and do work. Eve reminisces to Adam about the first day she encountered Adam and how she looked at him charmingly and submissively, and meekly surrendered to him. They kiss, and Satan becomes envious.

Topic Tracking: Misogyny 2

Satan, having just learned that the Tree of Knowledge is forbidden to Adam and Eve, ponders: "ignorance, is that their happy state, the proof of their obedience and their faith?" Book 4, lines 519-20. Having obtained knowledge of their weakness, Satan is ready to orchestrate their downfall.

Topic Tracking: Obedience & Disobedience 5

Meanwhile, Uriel warns Archangel Gabriel that he believes one of the fallen angels duped him and got into Eden. Gabriel pledges to keep a look out. Soon, Adam decides that it's time to go to bed, and Eve obliges, stating "my author and disposer, what thou bidd'st unargued I obey." Book 4, lines 635-6.

Topic Tracking: Authorship & Possession 4
Topic Tracking: Obedience & Disobedience 6

Before they fall asleep, Eve adds "God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise." Book 4, lines 637-8. Adam and Eve sleep, and Gabriel and some other Archangels search Paradise for Satan. Ithuriel and Zephon find Satan squatting as a toad at Eve's ear. The two bring Satan to Gabriel, who demands an explanation from Satan as to why he's there. Satan lies to Gabriel, saying he is just trying to see how nice earth is. Gabriel thinks that Satan has come with others, but Satan assures him that he hasn't. The angels surround Satan with spears, but God intervenes, preventing the fight. Satan flees murmuring.

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