Can you provide examples of assonance and metaphor in Paradise Lost books 1 and 2?

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Assonance can be defined as the repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words. It is largely employed as a means of emphasizing a particular passage, the better to make it more memorable.

In Satan's speech in Book 1 of Paradise Lost, he justifies his decision to make a heaven of hell and put as much distance between himself and the God who has defeated him:

fardest from him is best
Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
Above his equals.

Note the use of assonance in this passage. Satan is arrogantly asserting here that he is God's equal, but that God has only achieved supremacy over him by force.

An example of metaphor, a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable, can be found in Milton's invocation of the Holy Spirit as muse, where he describes it in the following terms:

Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant:

In this excerpt Milton invites us to imagine the Holy Spirit, in the shape of a dove, mating with the unformed chaos of primal matter to give birth to the cosmos. It's a pretty grotesque metaphor, to say the least, but perhaps that's the whole point. An expert manipulator of language, Milton knows exactly what he's doing. As with all great writers, he's more than aware of the extraordinary power of a metaphor that really sticks in the mind.

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