Paradise Lost Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"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).