Paradise Lost


Key Quotes

1. For man will hearken to his glozing lies,

And easily transgress the sole command,

Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall

He and his faithless progeny: whose fault?

Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me

All he could have; I made him just and right,

Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.

Such I created all th´ethereal Powers

And Spirits, both them who stood and them who failed;

Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.

Not free, what proof could they have giv’n sincere

Of true allegiance, constant faith or love,

Where only what they needs must do, appeared,

Not what they would? What praise could they receive?

What pleasure I from such obedience paid,

When will and reason (reason is also choice)

Useless and vain, of freedom both despoiled,

Made passive both, had served necessity,

Not me. They therefore as to right belonged,

So were created, nor can justly accuse

Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,

As if predestination overruled

Their will, disposed by absolute decree

Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed

Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,

Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,

Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.

(Book 3, lines 93-119)

In this passage, God is speaking to the Son after observing Satan’s flight toward Earth. Here, God thoroughly explains the concept of free will, an important theme of the poem. God explains that he has given free will to all of the “ethereal Powers and Spirits”—the angels—as...

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Essays About Paradise Lost