Milton's Paradise Lost

By Eva, Jamie, Jenna, Samuel, and Sara

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Introduction

Written in the mid-seventeenth century by John Milton, Paradise Lost is a 12 chapter, narrative poem. This poem follows the story of Adam and Eve from the book of Genesis and the events that lead to the betrayal of God.
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Summary

BOOK 1

As a brief prologue, the poem opens by explaining how Adam and Eve go against God's wishes, caused by a serpent who convinces Eve to eat from the Forbidden Tree. The serpent, possessed by Satan, who was seeking revenge after being was cast into hell for leading a rebellion against God.

After this, the poem starts off with Satan waking up in hell, and gathering his allies.

BOOK 2

The Devil and his subjects debate on trying to take Heaven from God. A suggestion is made by one of his subordinates, telling him of a prophecy that God had created another world where he would be able to exact his revenge. While he travels, he encounters his offspring, Sin and Death, who guard Hell’s gates. After having the gate unlocked by Sin, Satan sees God’s new creation.

BOOK 3

Satan finds a way into God’s new creation by tricking Uriel, the angel who stands guard. God knows that Satan is going towards this world on his mission to tempt man. God’s son offers to sacrifice himself for mankind, in order to maintain a secure balance between good and evil.

BOOK 4

After landing on earth, Satan gains entrance to the Garden of Eden. In Eden, he comes across Adam and Eve and is envious of their happiness. He overhears them talking of God’s order to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge and plots to have them disobey.

Angel Gabriel and his angels find Satan whispering to Eve in her sleep after Uriel warns them of his presence. They apprehend and banish him from Eden.

BOOK 5

Eve had a worrisome dream and is consoled by Adam. The angel Raphael is sent by God to warn the couple of their enemy, Satan, He recounts the history of Satan’s fall, his jealousy and rebellion against God, and how one angel, Adbiel, remained devoted to God.

BOOK 6

Raphael continues his story, telling Adam and Eve of the war between faithful angels, led by Michael and Satan’s army. After three days of war, God grows tired and sends the Messiah down to end the war. When he does, he drives Satan’s army back to Hell.

BOOK 7

Adam listens to Raphael recite the story of creation, how God sent his son to create a new world and fill it with new creatures in 6 days.

BOOK 8

Adam then retells his story of creation, his first impressions of the world and the creatures, the Garden of Eden, his first meeting and marriage to Eve, to Raphael, wanting to extend his enjoyable visit with the angel. The angel repeats his warnings to Adam and then departs.

BOOK 9

Satan returns to Eden, disguised as a serpent. When Adam and Eve split ways to do tasks, he finds Eve alone and urges her to eat from the forbidden tree. Adam is horrified when he hears what she did but ultimately decides he would rather share her fate than be alone. After eating the fruit, they become more self-aware.

BOOK 10

The angels return to heaven and God sends his son to judge Adam and Eve. Mercifully, he delays their punishment and allows them to regain God’s trust. Upon returning to hell, Sin and Death sense Satan’s victory and create a ‘highway’ to make voyage to Earth easier in the future. God has all of Satan’s allies turned into snakes as punishment. Adam and Eve to make peace with God again, despite any complaints they may have.

BOOK 11

Michael is sent by God to cast Adam and Eve out of Eden but first he discloses future events to Adam resulting from his sin. Eve withdraws in tears and Michael brings Adam to a high hill where he shows him visions of what is to occur until the Great Flood.

BOOK 12

Michael continues by telling Adam of a Prophesy of a son who shall redeem mankind, this makes Adam comforted and he decides to remain faithfully obedient to God. After reuniting with Eve, they are sent from Eden.

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Paradise Lost and the Monster

“Remember that I am thy creature; I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, Whom thou drivest from joy for no misdeed. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good; misery made me a fiend. Make me happy and I shall again be virtuous” (Shelly 111).

During the time the monster was reading the book he was every unaware of how the world around him worked, so he was very susceptible to the book's messages and themes. While reading the book the Monster was able to make many insightful connections between his creation and the creation and life of Adam and Eve.

“It moved every feeling of wonder and awe, that the picture of an omnipotent God warring with his creatures was capable of exciting,” (126) the Creature reflects. The poem causes him to reflect on the differences between himself and Adam, who “had come forth from the hands of God a perfect creature, happy and prosperous,” (154) while he, himself was “wretched, helpless, and alone" (140). Paradise Lost made monster truly feel like a monster. The Monster also reflects on the relationship between creator and created (ex. Victor vs Monster, God vs Adam).

While reading the poem the monster comes across the idea that God created Eve so that Adam wouldn't be alone. The monster determines that his purpose is to have Victor create him his very own companion. The monster reflects that hell is an internal condition which is produced and increased through loneliness, His only salvation is the creation of a mate.

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Character Parallels

Victor resembles Satan in the way of neglecting the Monster, just as Satan neglected the wishes of God. Both characters attempt to 'play God’, Victor by reversing life and death, Satan by attempting to rewrite destiny.

The Monster and Satan are similar because they were both considered to be pure before evil corrupted them. For example Satan was God's favourite angel until he was cast out of heaven. The monster was pure and good until the evilness around him corrupted his views.


Victor is similar to Eve because they both had a thirst for knowledge. Eve was curious about the great enlightenment that was kept for mankind, that the Apple would unlock and Victor desired knowledge about chemistry and how life could be given to inanimate objects.



Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden for betraying God and eating the forbidden fruit, much like how Victor's life was loving and happy before he tried to challenge God by overruling death and reanimating the dead.

The Monster and Adam are similar in the fact that they are both products of their gods. God creating Adam and Victor creating The monster. They both also seek companionship in the form of a significant other.