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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

by John Milton

Satan Timeline and Summary

  • Satan wakes up on a burning lake, and looks around bewildered.
  • He sees his first mate Beelzebub, and they have a conversation where Satan talks about his strong will and sense of pride. He also hates God.
  • Satan moves off the lake towards a burning plain.
  • Satan calls his legions from the burning lake; the most senior fallen angels assemble before him.
  • He gives a rousing speech to his angels, and demands that his flag be unfurled.
  • His legions march close towards him, and he gives another speech. All is not lost, he tells them; there is still hope.
  • He addresses a council of his peers in Pandemonium, saying they must debate the best way to war against Heaven.
  • He speaks last, saying he will risk his own life and venture to earth to see what he can do to fight god there.
  • He leaves Pandemonium, and heads towards the gates of Hell, where he meets his son, Death, and his daughter/wife Sin.
  • After a conversation with Sin, she lets him through the gates; he travels through Chaos – it's really hard-going.
  • He arrives at Chaos' throne and asks for directions to Heaven and earth.
  • He approaches Heaven and sees the universe hanging by a golden chain from Heaven. He moves towards it intent on mischief.
  • He peers into the universe before flying towards the sun, where he changes his shape and tricks Uriel into showing him the way to Paradise.
  • He lands on Mt. Niphates, near Paradise, and delivers a soliloquy.
  • He approaches Paradise and leaps over the wall, like a wolf. He lands on the top of the Tree of Life and observes Paradise, including Adam and Eve.
  • He jumps down, changes his shape into a lion, then a tiger; then he listens to Adam and Eve conversing, before he resolves to trick them into a desire for knowledge.
  • Ithuriel and Zephon discover him in the shape of a toad, whispering poisonous thoughts into Eve's ear.
  • He's taken before Gabriel; they argue for a while, before Satan flees, realizing he doesn't stand a chance in a fight.
  • Satan sees God's Son appointed lord (narrated in Book 5 of the poem but this happened chronologically earlier than everything else) and gets really angry.
  • He wakes up his first in command and tells him to get the squadrons ready in the north.
  • He tells the assembled angels that this whole business about the Son is a joke. It's an attempt to impose restraints on liberty.
  • He descends from his chariot to the battle field and argues with Abdiel before the battle begins.
  • He fights with Michael and is badly wounded; he recovers immediately, but his minions cart him off the field anyway.
  • He calls a council during the night and describes his plan to build a canon.
  • The next day he uses his canons, but is eventually defeated.
  • He and his minions throw themselves out of the gates of Heaven down to Hell.
  • He returns, fearless, to Eden after nightfall. He enters the garden through a river, and searches all night for the serpent.
  • He finds him, and enters through his mouth. Eventually, he persuades Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit by claiming it has wondrous powers.
  • He meets Sin and Death while disguised as an angel. After he tempts Eve, he slinks away and watches the outcome.
  • He tells Sin and Death to head to Paradise and wreak havoc while he returns to Hell to share the good news with his legions.
  • He shares the good news with his legions, but is then changed into a serpent.

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