Paradise Lost Book 2 Questions and Answers

John Milton

Book 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Moloch propose at the devilish council?

2. How does Belial’s proposal compare to Moloch’s?

3. What is Mammon’s argument at the council?

4. Who is Beelzebub, and what does he propose?

5. Who volunteers to go alone to spy on God’s new creation?

6. What is the volunteer’s true motive for his seemingly sacrificial act of exploring God’s new world?

7. Who does Satan meet at the gates of Hell?

8. Where did the barking Hell-hounds originate?

9. After which classical figure does Milton pattern the character of Sin?

10. Whom does Satan meet as he travels through the vast Abyss on his way to Earth?

Answers
1. Moloch proposes open war and is willing to risk annihilation in the attempt at armed conflict to avenge God.

2. Belial opposes Moloch’s plan. He advocates peace at all costs, reasoning that God might soften their punishment if they do not provoke him further.

3. Mammon wants to stay in Hell where he will be free of God. He chooses “hard liberty” rather than the “easy yoke” of servility.

4. Beelzebub is the mouthpiece for Satan himself. He proposes a plan to avenge God through his new creation, Man.

5. Satan volunteers to go to Earth to spy on God’s new race.

6. Satan is interested in his own honor and personal ambition.

7. Satan meets his daughter, Sin, and their son, Death.

8. Death raped his own mother, Sin, and she gave birth to the Hell-hounds, the fruits of the incestuous act.

9. Milton patterns Sin after Scylla in Virgil’s Aeneid. Also, both Sin and Athena (in Greek myth) were born fully armed out of the heads of their fathers (Satan and Zeus).

10. Satan meets Chaos sitting on his throne, along with his consort, Night.