Tuesday, September 24, 2019

An Elemental Summary of Paradise Lost

A few months ago I dashed off a brief note (HERE) on William Poole's Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost.

As I said then, it is a good book.  I'll have more to say about it in future. In the meantime, here is Dr. Poole's elemental summary of the plot:

Paradise Lost (twelve books; 7-8 and 11-12 were the original Books 7 and 10).

 1.      Hell: Satan and his troops in defeat.
 2.      Hell: the devil’s assembly and Satan’s journey.
 3.      Heaven: Divine theology; the approach of Satan to Eden.
 4.      Eden: Adam and Eve; Eve recounts her creation; Gabriel challenges Satan.
 5.      Eden: Eve’s dream; the arrival of Raphael; Raphael’s narration of the revolt.
 6.      Eden: Raphael continues: the War in Heaven.
 7.      Eden: Raphael continues; the Creation.
 8.      Eden: Raphael and Adam discuss astronomy; Adam recounts his creation.
 9.      Eden: Temptation and Fall.
 10.  Heaven: God sends his Son to Eden; Hell: Satan’s return; Eden: recriminations, followed by repentance.
 11.  Heaven: God’s judgments; Eden: the arrival of Michael; the vision of history (up to Flood).
 12.  Eden: The vision of history (Flood to Second Coming); Expulsion.
Source: William Poole, Milton and the Making of Paradise Lost, Harvard UP, 2017, p.115.

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