Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Inside Paradise LostReading the Designs of Milton's Epic$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Quint

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Milton’s Book of Numbers: Book 1 and Its Catalog

Milton’s Book of Numbers: Book 1 and Its Catalog

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Milton’s Book of Numbers: Book 1 and Its Catalog
Source:
Inside Paradise Lost
Author(s):

David Quint

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.003.0002

This chapter shows how book 1 of Paradise Lost metaphorically depicts the role of the devil in raising the rebel angels out of their “bottomless perdition,” an act of poetic creation analogous to the divine creation of the universe described in the invocation—“how the heavens and earth/Rose out of chaos.” The chief devils described in the catalog that occupies the center of book 1 and organizes its poetic figures and symbolic geography—Carthage, Sodom, Egypt, Babel-Babylon, Rome—are precisely those who will come to inhabit the pagan shrines that human idolatry will build next to or even inside the Jerusalem temple, profaning God's house. This catalog—whose traditional epic function is to size up military force—instead suggests the force of spiritual falsehood, and it corresponds to the defeated devils' own reluctance to pursue another direct war against God; they would rather resort to satanic fraud.

Keywords:   Paradise Lost, devil, rebel angels, poetic creation, divine creation, human idolatry, military force, spiritual falsehood, satanic fraud, pagan shrines

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.