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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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Reversing the Fall in Book 10

Reversing the Fall in Book 10

(p.197) 7 Reversing the Fall in Book 10
Inside Paradise Lost

David Quint

Princeton University Press

This chapter places the reconciliation of Adam and Eve in book 10 against the preceding first two-thirds of book 10, which have described the building by Sin and Death of their bridge over Chaos and Satan's return to hell. Each of these appears to be a “triumphal act,” allusively associated with the triumph of Augustus depicted on the shield of Aeneas in Aeneid 8, the chronological “ending” of Virgil's poem. However, allusion equally returns both demonic acts to the beginning of the Aeneid, the storm and shipwreck off of Carthage, and suggests the recursive shape of evil in the larger book 10—a book in which the narrative sequence of events seems to run in a loop. Therefore, these satanic acts of heroism are now understood as mock-triumphs that parody the real triumphs of the Son—true endings that foreshadow apocalyptic ones—at the respective ends of books 6 and 7.

Keywords:   Adam and Eve, Sin, Death, Chaos, Satan, triumphal act, Aeneid, demonic acts, heroism, mock-triumphs

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