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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost


by John Milton

Paradise Lost Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Book Number, Line Number

Quote #7

"He would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss returned with forkèd tongue
To forkèd tongue, for now were all transformed
Alike, to serpents all as accessories
To his bold riot: dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the hall" (10.517-22)

Because he tempted Eve in the guise of a serpent, Satan and his associates are all transformed into serpents. They are deprived of the ability to speak. It is appropriate that their hissing (a word repeated three times) creates a "din," a word used elsewhere to refer to the unpleasant sound of war (6.408).

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