Detailed Summary Paradise Lost Book I Part II, Paradise Lost Book I Part II by John Milton




Satan's First Speech and address to Beelzebub:



Soon Satan wakes up amid this horrid fire and addresses Beelzebub that he has been the partaker of Satan both in heaven and now in "equal ruin" of hell. He reminds the happy state of Beelzebub which is no more because of the might of God. Satan laments the fall and defeat at the hands of God. He also admits that their estimation of God was wrong:

From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd
He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire Arms?

Satan retells Beelzebub of multitudes of angels which supported Satan and Beelzebub against God. Satan reaffirms his faith in eternal war against God: "To wage by force or guile eternal War". He is not willing to surrender before God:

"What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will"

He, though in deep pain and despair, shows his determination of revenge and hate:

"And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?"

Response of Beelzebub:



He replies Satan with respect and reverence. He remembers all that led to their overthrown by God into the pits of hell. He rues the loss of all their glory and vigour but, like Satan, he also professes that their "mind and spirit remains Invincible". In his gloomy voice he admits that God is supreme and he may hold them in hell forever to torture their souls.

Satan's Second Speech:



Satan shows a strong resolve to oppose all the plans of God. He tells Beelzebub:

"To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight"

He proposes to corrupt the ministers and counsels of God. He proposes to have a single aim in life i.e. evil. While he is talking to Beelzebub, Satan witnesses the angels of vengeance returning to heaven. He informs Beelzebub of this. He believes that it is an opportunity to them. They may consult and unite while God has left them forlorn and desolate in the tract of hell. He does not care whether it is out of contempt or anything. He knows nothing but to upset the plans of God and "grieve" him by corrupting his counsels. For this purpose they shall go to any extent:

"What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,
If not what resolution from despare."

The description of Satan and God's setting him free:



The poet gives a detailed description of the might and stature of Satan which is taller and bulky even more than those mentioned in several of the fables. Then the poet describes that God decided to let Satan be free from the chain of hell to act upon his dark designs:

"And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
Evil to others"

Now both Satan and Beelzebub flew from the lake of fire to reach the land "if it were Land that ever burn'd". Both of them don't seem to realize that it is the will of God which has set them free from chains rather than their own powers. Satan shows his resolve to remain away from God and to dwell in the hell as "possessor" because he is the one:

"One who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."

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