Book 8 Notes from Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost Book 8

Enthralled at how much information Raphael is divulging, Adam asks Raphael sophisticated questions about the movement of planets in the universe. Eve leaves at this point in the conversation, to tend to fruits and vegetables. Raphael explains that God will not divulge his secrets, choosing rather to conceal them and perhaps be amused by people's guesses. Raphael does suggest, though, that planets orbit the sun. Still, Raphael insists that Adam must concern himself with earthly knowledge rather than heavenly knowledge.

Satisfied with Raphael's descriptions, Adam relates his own history. After waking up in a sweat, he stood up, looked heavenward, surveyed his body and surroundings, found himself able to speak and asked how he came there. Then Adam had a dream that someone ordained him "first father" of man, led him to a mountain, and let him survey all the fruit trees. This divine figure called himself the "author of all this thou seest above, or round thee or beneath." Book 8, lines 317-8.

Topic Tracking: Authorship & Possession 8

Adam is given Paradise to "till and keep" but he must not eat of the Tree of Knowledge; the divine being tells him it is his pledge of obedience and faith.

Topic Tracking: Obedience & Disobedience 14

Adam asks if he will have to be there in solitude, and God (the divine being) replies that there are lots of beasts to keep him company. But Adam insists that they are inferior, and he wants an equal. Finally, God complies. He makes Adam fall asleep, and uses one of his ribs to make a woman. Adam has not received a true equal, however; he explains that Eve is "th' inferior, in the mind and inward faculties." Book 8, lines 541-2. Still, he is happy. Raphael finally leaves Adam, reminding him that he has free will to repel any temptation to transgress. Adam thanks him and asks him to return to visit mankind often.

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