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Paradise Lost: Bk V 
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Post Paradise Lost: Bk V
Book V Discussion

Please use this thread to discuss Book V of Paradise Lost



Last edited by Saffron on Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:18 am
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I think everyone should keep reading along, if that's what they want to do. But as we have said, PL is long and pretty demanding. We could probably spend a long time just on Book IV, for example. People might not have time or patience to read every line, and this is not necessary, anyway, to enjoy the poem and learn something about it. Everyone should have their own opinion, but to me, the second part of Book V, as well as much of Books VI and VII are the more skippable ones. Of course, the "arguments" are there to provide the jist of each chapter.

Eve's description of her dream (ll. 28-93) and Adam's reply carries us along dramatically from the couple's discussion in Book IV about the "ease" of living under God's regime. Eve's dream puts a little cloud in Adam's sky, but he is quick to dispel any fault that might appear in his dear Eve, so he brushes it off quickly. We might want to discuss this part especially.

For the rest, we have God's charge to Raphael to go to Earth to warn Adam, Raphael's discharge of his duty, and Raphael's relation of the beginning of the war in Heaven. Milton is always aware of the problem God's omniscience raises in regard to any action he undertakes. If Adam will fail anyway, why send an angel down to warn him? It is to "fulfill all Justice," so no one, esp. Adam, can say Adam wasn't warned.

The awakening of Adam's curiosity begins here. He hears of war in Heaven and is surprised to hear of anything so imperfect occurring there. His faith in Heaven and its might be a little shaken ("though what thou tell'st/Me Hath past in Heaven, some doubt within me move" 553-54).

The only comment I'll make on the resolution for war in Heaven is that I was a bit surprised at how easily Satan won the day with his troops. It takes little persuading to get them on board. The speechifying is entertaining here. Milton seems to intend to downplay the consent of the rebel angels and instead to highlight the brave resistance of Abdiel at the end of the book.


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No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness


Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:52 pm
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DWill wrote:

The awakening of Adam's curiosity begins here. He hears of war in Heaven and is surprised to hear of anything so imperfect occurring there. His faith in Heaven and its might be a little shaken ("though what thou tell'st/Me Hath past in Heaven, some doubt within me move" 553-54).

The only comment I'll make on the resolution for war in Heaven is that I was a bit surprised at how easily Satan won the day with his troops.



I was by both points that you make, DWill. I am even more persuaded by your idea that Adam's interest in accepting the fruit from Eve was as much for the love of Eve as to satiate his own budding curiosity.

I also was surprised how willing and many angles took up with Satan. One renegade angle is easy to imagine, but hoards of angles lounging around in heaven, with every need met -- dissatisfied enough to turn against an undemanding master?


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Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:20 pm
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