full title Paradise Lost
author John Milton
type of work Poem
time and place written 1656–1674; England
date of first publication First Edition (ten books), 1667; Second Edition (twelve books), 1674
publisher S. Simmons, England
point of view Third person
tone Lofty; formal; tragic
setting (time) Before the beginning of time
setting (place) Hell, Chaos and Night, Heaven, Earth (Paradise, the Garden of Eden)
protagonist Adam and Eve
major conflict Satan, already damned to Hell, undertakes to corrupt God’s new, beloved creation, humankind.
rising action The angels battle in Heaven; Satan and the rebel angels fall to Hell; God creates the universe; Satan plots to corrupt God’s human creation; God creates Eve to be Adam’s companion; Raphael answers Adam’s questions and warns him of Satan
climax Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
falling action The Son inflicts punishment; Adam and Eve repent; Adam learns about the future of man
themes The Importance of Obedience to God; The Hierarchical Nature of the Universe; The Fall as Partly Fortunate
motifs Light and Dark; The Geography of the Universe; Conversation and Contemplation
symbols The Scales in the Sky; Adam’s wreath
foreshadowing Eve’s vanity at seeing her reflection in the lake; Satan’s transformation into a snake and his final punishment
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