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Paradise Lost Book 9: Short Questions & Answers

Q 1:  How does Milton start Paradise Lost book 9?

Milton starts Book 9 with a final invocation. He informs the reader that he must "change these notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach disloyal on the part of man, revolt and disobedience.”

2: What does Milton claim his theme to be?

Milton says that his theme is more heroic than all the martial epics of Homer, Virgil, and Spenser which have preceded him. The themes of those poems are:

"Not that which justly gives heroic name

To person or to poem”.

3: What does Satan do at the beginning of Book 9?

Satan returns to earth as a mist and searches for a creature to inhabit. He chooses the serpent since it is the most subtle animal he can find. Satan explains that the more pleasures he sees the more torment he feels. He doesn’t want to live on earth or in heaven, though he wants to make others experience the same pain that ails him. He explains, "only in destroying I find ease to my restless thoughts,”

4: What conversation takes place between Adam and Eve after Satan returns to earth?

Eve suggests to Adam that they split up when doing their daily work. Adam replies that God made them "not to irksome toil, but to delight”, although he does concede that "solitude sometimes is the best society, and short retirement urges sweet return.” Still, he warns Eve that their foe wants nothing more than to see them apart since he would be hopeless to outwit them together.

5: Why Eve is surprised to see Adam?

Eve is surprised to see that Adam would doubt her "firmness” because of the foe, and, although Adam persists, Eve argues that they cannot go on dwelling happily if they are living in fear. Finally, Adam gives up and lets her go.

6: How Satan is impressed by and becomes jealous of Eve?

Satan is looking for them, hoping "beyond hope” to find Eve separated.  He gets his wish and entranced by her beauty, grace, and innocence is momentarily disarmed of his enmity, envy, hate, and need for revenge. But, the more he looks at her, the more jealous he becomes that she was not made for him, and he regains all his hate.

7: How does Satan lead eve to the Tree of Knowledge?

Satan begins licking the ground Eve is walking on and tells her she is of "celestial beauty.” Eve is shocked to hear a serpent speaking. Satan explains that all he had to do was eat an apple from a tree and it gave him the power to speak. Eve wants to know which tree this was since there are so many in Paradise, and the serpent leads her to the Tree of Knowledge.

8: How does Satan convince Eve to eat from the forbidden tree?

After reaching the Tree of Knowledge, Eve explains that it is forbidden to eat from that tree, and punished by death. The serpent tells Eve to look at him: he hasn’t died from eating from the tree. He tells Eve knowledge of good and evil will make her life happier, and she will be like a goddess. He asks a question that seems logical to Eve: "Wherein lies th’ offense, that man should thus attain to know?”

9: Why does Eve eat from the forbidden tree?

By Satan’s convincing arguments Eve is easily won over; if beasts can eat the fruit and not die, humans should be able to as well and eats from the tree.

10: What happened immediately after Eve ate from the Tree of knowledge?

Immediately afterward, the earth lets out a sigh to signify the loss, and the guilty serpent, tricky Satan, slinks back into the thicket leaving Eve behind to face the dire consequences.

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11: What does Eve think after eating the forbidden fruit?

Eve is thrilled to have obtained knowledge, and wonders whether she should let Adam partake in it or not, and use the advantage to "render [herself] more equal.” Eve wonders if she really will die. If that happened, then Adam would get another woman, and live happily ever after with that woman. So, the decision is made: Eve decides that Adam will share with her in prosperity or misfortune. Her conniving illustrates how much she has changed after being seduced by Satan.

12: What does Adam think and tell Eve before eating from the forbidden tree and what happens afterward?

When Eve relates her good fortune and implores Adam to eat from the tree. Horror runs through Adam’s veins at the "fatal trespass”. Adam wonders to himself how she could’ve been tricked and ruined both of them. He thinks of how heartbroken he’d be with another woman. So, in an effort to not hurt Eve’s feelings, he tells Eve that she was "bold” and "adventurous” to eat from the tree and that he doubts God will kill her.

13: What does happen when Adam agrees to eat the forbidden fruit?

Then, with the help of Eve’s charms, Adam agrees to eat from the tree. Just after it the earth groans again, and it begins to rain.

14: What do Adam and Eve do after eating from the tree?

Lust consumes Adam, and they engage in lustful acts that night. The next morning, they feel shame in their nakedness. Adam tells Eve that they have lost their honor, innocence, faith, and purity. They sew leaves together to hide their sensitive body parts and begin to cry. After crying, they begin to feel anger and hatred toward each other.

15: Describe briefly the dialogue that occurred between Adam and Eve after covering their private parts?

Adam tells Eve that if she had listened to him, they’d still be happy now. Eve replies that the serpent could just as easily have found him first, and he wouldn’t have known that he was being tricked. Then, she tells him he should’ve commanded her not to go. Adam is furious at her response.

16: Why does Adam eat the fruit?

Adam ate the fruit out of love for her, risking death. He insists that he warned her all he could, but couldn’t use force upon her. Adam closes, saying he who trusts women must be prepared to be accused if evil ensues.

17: Write a brief account of the theme of sin in Paradise Lost.

Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve’s fall, the original sin! So it’s no surprise that sin is a prominent theme in the poem. Don’t forget that we also learn a lot about Satan’s major sin (he tried to overthrow God) and a lot about the sins that Adam’s descendants will commit. Milton constantly reminds us of our sins, or rather of the fact that we are sinners in a fallen world.

18: Briefly describe the theme of pride in the poem.

Satan is the exemplar of pride par excellence. In Paradise Lost, he is too proud to accept God’s Son as the boss in Heaven; he thinks he’s being hampered by the chains of tyranny. Adam and Eve too, although they don’t express the same sentiments as Satan, feel as though they’re entitled to the Forbidden Fruit, even though God has expressly forbidden them to eat it.

19: What do you know about the theme of revenge in Paradise lost?

In many respects, Paradise Lost is a sort of revenge tragedy. Adam and Eve are the innocent victims of Satan’s attempts to seek revenge against God. He sort of feels bad about it – he even cries when he sees Adam and Eve – but then he realizes he must continue with his plan. In the long run, Adam and Eve will win.

20: write a brief character of Raphael.

Raphael is the Archangel sent by God to warn Adam and Eve about Satan and remind them of their free will. He engages in a lengthy discussion of Satan’s rebellion and the universe’s creation at Adam’s request.

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21: What do you know about Urania?

Urania is a muse invoked by Milton at certain points in the poem to give him the inspiration to carry on. This is an epic convention that Milton has carried out to make his poem a superb epic.

22: What do you know about the Garden of Eden?

The Garden of Eden is described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. From which they were expelled after they ate from the tree of Knowledge.

23: What does the Carr of Night mean?

Night as it moves around the earth. Satan circled the earth at the equator, staying ahead of the sun and therefore staying in the night for "The space of seven continu’d nights.” He also crossed the entire breadth of night’s shadow from "Pole to Pole.”

24: Explain the word specious that occurred in line 361 Paradise Lost Book 9.

"Having a fair or attractive appearance or character, calculated to make a favorable impression on the mind, but in reality, devoid of the qualities apparently possessed.” The serpent will be such a creature with Satan inside. What’s more, the Serpent will claim he has eaten the forbidden fruit, but he hasn’t.

25: How does Satan flatter Eve when he first approaches her?

When Satan first approaches Eve, he refers to her as the "Empress of this fair World” In the course of his tricky conversation; he calls her "Queen of this Universe” Such flattery, which contains a grain of truth, is designed to cozen Eve into a sense of confidence in her primary status in the world.

26: Which form does Satan assume before tempting Eve?

When Satan returns to Eden, he enters into the body of a sleeping serpent.  In the form of a serpent, he tempts Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

27: How does Milton describe Adam and Eve at the end of book 9 of Paradise Lost?

Milton describes them as spending "fruitless hours” in bitter accusation. Each is willing to blame the other, but neither is willing to accept responsibility. Paradise is gone and in its place guilt, blame, and shame. Milton says that both of them have given way to "Appetite”, and the reason is lost. Paradise has ended; the earth has begun.

28: What is the symbolic importance of Adam’s Wreath in book 9?

The wreath that Adam makes as he and Eve work separately is symbolic in several ways. First, it represents Adam’s love for Eve. But as he is about to give the wreath to her, his shock in noticing that she has eaten from the Tree of Knowledge makes him drop it to the ground.

29: What does Adam’s dropping of the wreath symbolize?

His dropping of the wreath symbolizes that his love and attraction to Eve is falling away. His image of her as a spiritual companion has been shattered, as he realizes her fallen state. The fallen wreath represents the loss of pure love.

30: What is William Blake’s popular comment about Milton?

William Blake, the great visionary poet, said that "Milton was of the devil’s party without knowing it.” He was referring to the rather sympathetic nature in which Milton seems to treat Satan in his poem Paradise Lost.

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