Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Satan, Sin and Death (Paradise Lost, Book the 2nd), after 1790
Etching, printed in brown ink; plate: 12 7/8 x 14 7/8 in. (32.7 x 37.8 cm) sheet: 13 9/16 x 15 11/16 in. (34.4 x 39.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959 (59.533.375)

Book 1 Paradise Lost John Milton summary

Book 1 of “Paradise Lost” by John Milton sets the stage for the epic poem’s central conflict: the fall of man. Here is a brief summary of the book: Book 1 Paradise Lost John Milton summary

The poem begins with an invocation to the Muse, asking for inspiration to tell the story of man’s fall from grace. The poem then introduces Satan, who has just been cast out of Heaven and fallen to Hell with his followers. Satan is determined to seek revenge against God, and he gathers his fallen angels to plot their next move.

Satan then sets out on a journey through Chaos and comes to the gate of Hell, guarded by Sin and Death. Satan convinces Sin to open the gate, and he enters Hell. Satan then speaks to his followers and inspires them to continue their rebellion against God, despite their defeat.

Meanwhile, God and the Son are in Heaven, discussing Satan’s rebellion and its consequences. God decides to send his Son to Earth to redeem mankind, but Satan sees this as an opportunity to corrupt God’s new creation. Satan and his followers decide to infiltrate Eden, where God has placed Adam and Eve, and tempt them to sin.

The book ends with Satan sneaking past the gates of Hell and beginning his journey toward Earth, determined to corrupt Adam and Eve and exact his revenge against God.

Overall, Book 1 of “Paradise Lost” sets up the central conflict of the poem and introduces the key characters and themes. The book establishes Satan’s motivations and his plan to corrupt humanity, as well as God’s plan to send his Son to save mankind.

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