Explain the significance of this passage within Paradise Lost. Is this passage the description of Satan being punished in the Lake of Fire? Please identify any themes, images, diction, symbols in...

Explain the significance of this passage within Paradise Lost. Is this passage the description of Satan being punished in the Lake of Fire? Please identify any themes, images, diction, symbols in here too. 

…his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean-stream.
Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays...

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This passage is from Book I of Paradise Lost which begins in media res as do the Greek classics after a brief proposal of Man's disobedience and the loss of the paradise of Eden, with the mention of the cause of this loss as the temptation of the Serpent, or Satan. The cited passage begins with line 195, directly after Lucifer, which means "light-bearer" is cast out after being "Stirr' up with Envy and Revenge" and becomes Satan, which means "enemy." Satan awakens from confusion and stirs his "Rebel Angels" who are also confounded by their predicament as they find themselves chained on the burning lake of Hell (see line 210).Here are some of the literary elements of the above passage:

Classical Allusions

Lines 195-208) allude to the classics. For instance, the reference to Titan recalls the war of the Titans with the gods of Olympia. Briareos helped to defeat his brother Titans; the reference to Typhon is found in Hesiod's story in which Typhoeus is a most frightening Earth-born monster whom Zeus hurled back from Olympus. Ovid's described him as having been buried alive under Aetna and nearby mountains. Further, the allusion to Leviathan has several references, many scholars believe that it is nearest to the Isaiah's prophecy that the Lord

...shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent...that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Themes

Certainly, the themes of the essential importance of obedience to God and the Nature of the Universe as a Hierarchy are prevalent in this passage.

Satan and his legions have been chained on the burning Lake for their disobedience, while it is apparent from the allusions to the classical war of the Titans that there is an order of being.

Simile

This passage contains an epic simile as Satan is compared to the giants of classical literature. With such a grand comparison, there is, indeed, the suggestion of the puissance of Satan and his Legions, the arrogance and pride that will drive the devils to "find means of evil."

Personification

Night, Sea, and Morn are all invested with characteristics of humans in lines 206-207:

...while Night
Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delays.

Poetic Devices

With enjambment, the continuation of a sentence or a clause over a line break--

e.g.

Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th'Ocean stream"

and with caesura, or variable line lengths--

e.g. 

With fixed Anchor in his scaly rind
Moors by his side under the Lee,while Night

Milton creates other audible interests for readers, as well, such as with inverted sentences. Two sound devices that the great poet employs are assonance and alliteration. There is assonance, the repetition of a vowel sound of the o:"Prone on the Flood, extended long and large (line 195)"; alliteration with the repetition of an initial consonant sound of the letter l: "long, large" and in line 204 with /s/: "The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff."

Sources:

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