Detailed Summary Paradise Lost Book I Part III,Paradise Lost Book I Summary by John Milton
Satan Recalls his partakers
Satan is determined on the path of evil and declares: "Tis better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n." He then asks Beelzebub to wake his allies and partakers which lie "prostrate" on the lakes of fire. Beelzebub advises Satan to call their partaker angels and hearing his voice they would regain courage and hope. Satan stands up and walks with uneasy steps on the land of hell:
"He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep
Of Hell resounded."
And the impact of that call was: "They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung". They come in a numerous quantity that the poet calls them "pitchy cloud Of LOCUSTS". Then the leaders came forward and the inferiors remained behind. These are the ones that sat on the thrones in Heaven once but now they are no more in heaven. They have no names. They may be given new names by humankind under their illusions of finding gods and deities. The poet describes the names of a few which were later adored by men.
The Partakers of Satan that were adored by men in coming years
Milton narrates of Moloch, "horrid king besmear'd with blood of human sacrifice". The humans built him a temple and adored him. Children were sacrificed at his temple amid the sounds of drums. He even deceived and led by fraud the wisest heart of Solomon "to build his Temple right against the Temple of God".
The second name to come is of Chemos, "obscene dread of MOABS Sons" that cast its horrors and misled mankind in the areas of Israel "to do him wanton rites". This indeed cost them much. The lustful luring and misleading was only to rule with its evil "Till good JOSIAH drove them thence to Hell."
Baalim and Ashtaroth:
The two were the feminine deities while the earlier were male daemons. Milton elaborates that spirits are free from gender because they can "assume either shape" when "they please". These were the very deities "for those the Race of ISRAEL oft forsook" their ways and bowed down to "bestial Gods". Israelites were humiliated for these deeds.
Astoreth or Astarte:
Astoreth, "Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns" had her temple on a mountain. This was built by the king of the country himself who was beguiled by "fair Idolatresses" while the virgins paid their "vows and songs" to her fair image.
Thammuz was worshipped in the name of lamenting his fate. These were the women of Syria that outran in these idolatries. He yearly wounded himself and the rituals in remembrance of him spread far and wide.
The next is Dagon, "Sea Monster, upward Man And downward Fish". Man built his temple and worshipped him. He is the one that was maimed and his head and arms were cut off before his worshippers in his temple.
He cast his evil net in Damascus and his temple was built. He induced a conqueror and a king to abolish the temple of God and build his temple in Syrian mode to present him with offerings and adore him.
Osiris, Isis, Orus and their train:
These influenced the people and priests of Egypt to find gods in brutal shapes and soon spread to Israel as well. This reached the height when they created "the Calf in OREB" with borrowed gold. The people soon began worshipping the calf as god. This continued till it was settled and the cow was destructed.
The last to be mentioned in Belial, a lewd spirit, that loved "vice for itself". To him no altar was built but he rather disguises itself and seats inside the temple of God to stray men. His sons are found in the night in a drunken state. He is the cause of riots and destruction of cities of men.
Satan assembles his army:
Then Milton gives a vivid description of how numberless the followers of Satan rose from the fiery gulf of hell and recovered their lost courage out of dismay. Though they were lost in the loss of heaven yet they felt no loss in the regaining of their ill will. There were sounds of the crying and shouting of the crew of Satan. It could easily be observed as a huge army of devils the ensign of which was being upheld by Azazel and "Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds". The poet describes the shouts as:
"A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond
Frighted the Reign of CHAOS and old Night."
There were "ten thousand Banners" in the air. Satan views the lined up battalion and his heart swallows with pride to count the number because never since the creation of man one met "such imbodied force". Satan's pride is also due because the millions of spirits are faithful to him even after their fall.