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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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LINES 1-201. ABDIEL'S COURAGE

Through the night, Abdiel runs back to the Mount of God, expecting to bring news of Satan's rebellion. But the news is already known, and preparations are well in hand. God praises Abdiel from inside a golden cloud, telling him that he has won the more difficult battle-the moral one- by standing up for the right. Now comes the easier fight.

Commanded by Michael and Gabriel, the army of God marches out in perfect order. The angels fly above the ground like the birds who came to get their names from Adam. Remember that Raphael is telling the story to Adam; this is why he uses "thee" in line 75.



The armies meet each other after marching a distance ten times longer than the earth. (This is certainly an imaginary battlefield!) Satan descends from his gold chariot and walks toward the army of God. Abdiel cannot bear to see Satan's pride and speaks to himself in a speech called a "soliloquy." In his soliloquy, Abdiel resolves to attack Satan, arguing that he should be able to win a physical fight after winning the moral one. So Abdiel becomes the champion of God's army, the first to strike the rebel Lucifer.

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