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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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LINES 670-798. THE BUILDING OF PANDEMONIUM

NOTE: We use the word "pandemonium" to mean any kind of confused, noisy gathering. Here we see where the word comes from and what it really means. It is a house for all devils, "pan" being the Greek word for "all" and "demon" the Greek for devil.



Summoned by heralds and trumpets, the enormous army surges toward Pandemonium, which has been designed by Mulciber with materials mined by Mammon, the god of gold. Milton reminds us that angels are creatures with wings by using an epic simile that compares them to bees assembling outside their hive. At a signal, they all shrink so that they can fit into Pandemonium. They now look like pygmies or the fairies that appear to drunken peasants on their way home at night. The association suggests the deceitful nature of the fallen angels.

But the leaders of the fallen angels do not shrink. They are meeting privately in another part of Pandemonium to decide their strategy.

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