Paradise Lost


Book 7

Book 7 Summary

In the prologue to Book 7, Milton invokes the classical Muse of Astronomy, Urania. He offers his own mythology for her, however, casting her as the sister of the Biblical “Wisdom,” a daughter of God, therefore grounding his invocation in Christianity as usual. Milton asks not only for inspiration, but also for protection from those who might oppose or misunderstand his intentions in writing Paradise Lost.

Adam takes Raphael’s warning about temptation seriously, but feels confident that neither he nor Eve will fall into sin. He is now curious about his own creation and the creation of the world. Uncertain whether it is permissible for him to have this knowledge, Adam questions Raphael with great care and caution. The angel assures Adam that he is allowed to know the creation story, as it will strengthen his ability to serve God. Raphael explains that after the defeat of Satan’s rebel host, God wanted to increase the population in service to Him and demonstrate that His powers reached every corner of the universe. Thus, he created man and Earth, intending that one day, through obedience to Him, man would have the ability to join Earth to Heaven.

God called upon his Son to create Earth, which the Son then hung by a chain that connected it to Heaven. Over the next six days, God then created light, water, sky, dry land, the seasons of the year, and all of the animals of Earth. Finally, he created man in his own image to rule over the other creatures of Earth. The seventh day God decreed was to be a day of rest, and on that day, the Heavenly host joyously sang God’s praises.

Analysis: Book 7

Milton’s invocation at the beginning of Book 7 is highly personal. At this time in his life, Milton had indeed “fall’n on evil days” (7.25); he was in hiding for his political beliefs. He had been outspoken against the monarchy in England and associated with republicans of the revolution which had executed Charles I. When the monarchy was...

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Essays About Paradise Lost