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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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BOOK XI

LINES 1-125. GOD'S JUDGMENT

When Adam and Eve's prayers go up to Heaven, it is the Son who pleads for them. He is beginning to assume his role as man's advocate before God the Father, a role he will complete when he becomes Jesus Christ and is sacrificed for man's sins.

God grants the Son's plea not to kill Adam and Eve at once, but to give them death as a merciful end to an unhappy life. Adam had two gifts: happiness and immortality. Now both are gone.

God calls a meeting of the heavenly host to announce his decision. Look at this speech (lines 84-98) if you are interested in the character of Milton's God and the logic (or lack of it) of his position. Man, he says, has become like us, for now he knows good and evil. He must leave the Garden of Paradise in case he also eats fruit from the Tree of Life and becomes immortal like us.



You might want to consider these questions about God's argument: Is God frightened that Adam will gain more power? Since he is omniscient, doesn't he know whether in the future Adam will eat the fruit of the other tree? God's speech makes us worry again about the relationship between God's foreknowledge and his omnipotence.

Michael-the archangel who wielded the two-handed sword in the War in Heaven-is given the job of escorting Adam and Eve out of Paradise.

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Paradise Lost by John Milton - Barron's Booknotes
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