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Inside Paradise LostReading the Designs of Milton's Epic$
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David Quint

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.001.0001

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Ulysses and the Devils: The Unity of Book 2

Ulysses and the Devils: The Unity of Book 2

Chapter:
(p.38) 2 Ulysses and the Devils: The Unity of Book 2
Source:
Inside Paradise Lost
Author(s):

David Quint

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.003.0003

This chapter focuses on book 2 of Paradise Lost. In book 2, Milton continues the story of the demilitarization of the fallen angels and of his epic more generally when he bases all of its action around the figure of Ulysses, the hero of eloquence and fraud, whose own epic comes in the aftermath of the Trojan War. The chapter demonstrates that the Odyssey, imitated and parodied in Satan's voyage through Chaos to God's newly created universe in the book's last section, is just one of the classical stories about the career of Ulysses that Milton evokes as models for its different episodes. The various parts of book 2 are held together by this pattern of allusion, as well as by the Odyssean figures of Scylla and Charybdis, the emblem of bad choices, or of loss of choice itself.

Keywords:   Paradise Lost, fallen angels, Ulysses, Trojan War, Odyssey, Satan, Chaos, Scylla, Charybdis, bad choices

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