This concluding chapter examines the structure of the composite books 11 and 12, in which the prophesied destruction of Eden corresponds, antithetically, to the building of Pandaemonium at the beginning of Paradise Lost in book 1. After the Fall, Eden might become a temple, oracle site, a grove of pagan rites, goal of pilgrimage—it has already, at the moment that Satan invades it in book 4, been compared to the sheepfold of the Church, prey to thieves, a Church too rich to escape corruption. In books that predict the rise of empires, God dissociates his cult from power and wealth, closing down and eventually washing away Eden, lest it become another Pandaemonium—a haunt of foul spirits.
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