Paradise Lost Cornell Notes



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Paradise Lost Cornell Notes

Book I Overview:



Line 1-26
Epic characteristic(s) from lines 1-26

Biblical reference in lines 1-4 (this is the story that Milton is leading up to)

Milton’s purpose in writing (line 26)

Line 26-83

What question is Milton attempting to answer according to lines 26-33


Whose fault was it that Eve ate the apple? (line 34-36)

Reason Satan was kicked out of heaven (lines 36-44)

Result of Satan’s rebellion (lines 45-49)


Satan’s reaction to being cast out of heaven (lines 54-56)

Description of hell (lines 60-75)


Satan’s lieutenant/right-hand man (80-81)



Lines 84-126 (Satan’s speech)
Satan’s remarks on their appearance and state of existence (lines 84-91)

Satan’s explanation of why other entities of heaven joined his cause (lines 100-105)

Satan’s descriptions of the grand battle (lines 106-124)
Lines 127-155 (Beezlebub’s response and concerns)
Role that Satan performed in the war against God (lines 128-133)

Beezlebub’s feelings about life in hell/the war in Heaven (lines 134-142)

Beezlebub’s questions/ponderings over God’s plan for them


Lines 156-191

Main points of Satan’s speech (what does he swear they will never do?)


Satan’s description of his expulsion from heaven (lines 170-179)




Lines 192-220
Description of Satan (give many examples from this section)

Greek mythology and Biblical allusions (lines 196-201)

Epic Simile (lines 196-208)
Lines 221-241

Satan’s move to solid ground-how do they get there?


Lines 242-270
Satan’s realization/acceptance: What does he accept?





Remember, Paradise Lost was written after the English civil war. How can this poem be used to represent the historical context of the time period? (Hint: Think about Milton’s purpose in writing)

In Book I of Paradise Lost, can Satan be considered the hero of the poem? Give specific examples to justify answer.


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