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




While the fallen angels are bearing the pain in hell, Satan has been on the move to find the way out of hell for accomplishment of his task to discover the abode of mankind and the means to corrupt him, the one born for the favours of God. When Satan reached the roof of hell, he observed such fearful creatures set on the gates of hell that those appeared more horrible than the hell itself. Satan advanced and was stopped by a bulky, dreadful creature which moved "with horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode". Satan, pronouncing it a hellish creature, warned it not to interrupt his path. The creature replied "art thou that Traitor Angel" that intended to cause disruption in heaven and showed impudence to the Highest. It asks Satan to return back to the dungeon of hell:

"Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more,
Thy King and Lord? Back to thy punishment"

Before Satan and the creature begin to fight, Death intervenes and stops them. She tells Satan of the pains being borne by her since her demise and sad downfall of her. She tells of the agony she has been in and which forces her to eat up her own offspring and then to give birth to them again. Her offspring are the outcome of a rape by evil. God has banished them both to guard the gates of hell while she holds the key. Upon Satan's promise that he will provide her a peaceful abode with plenty to feed upon, she agrees to open the gates of hell against the orders of God.

After successfully escaping hell, Satan wanders about in the utter chaos and timeless space where he finds nothing of the sort he has hoped to. When tired of searching, he reaches Night, Chance, Orcus, Ades and Demogorgon and boldly questions them about the existence of men. Satan does not hide his intentions of creating disturbance in the newly created universe. Satan proposes Night that if he remains successful in the disturbance he aims at, it may:

"Erect the Standerd there of ANCIENT NIGHT;
Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge."

Upon seeing her "advantage" Night tells her of the path leading to the abode of mankind. Satan stays there awhile to amuse himself of the first step towards his goal of destroying the new creation of God while the poet comments that Satan is unaware of the fact that all is happening according the plan of God where he wishes to test the mettle and character of His new creation where the evil ones would be punished.

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