Compare books 1 and 9 of Milton's Paradise Lost.

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These could be regarded as the pivotal books of Paradise Lost, as book 1 presents us with the premise of the drama that is about to unfold, and book 9 depicts the crucial event that is the centerpiece of the drama.

There could not be more of a contrast in both the characterizations and the settings of the two books. Book 1 has an almost science-fiction atmosphere, showing Satan, having been expelled from heaven, essentially in outer-space with the other fallen angels. The manner in which Satan himself is presented has been a source of controversy ever since Paradise Lost was first evaluated by critics and commentators. In the eighteenth century, Samuel Johnson noted that the words Milton has Satan speak are blasphemous, but, as a writer with a religious message, Milton had every right to present him in this way. In the nineteenth century, the Romantics, including Shelley and Blake, began to see Satan as the true hero of the poem: the expression of defiance and individuality that were the...

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