"A Heaven On Earth"

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Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 174

Context: Like a wolf to the fold or a burglar to a rich man's dwelling comes Satan to Eden, where in the shape of a cormorant, a bird of prey, he flies to the highest tree, the tree of life, to look down into Paradise, the garden within Eden. There in Paradise Satan will carry out his plan, further outraging God by the seduction of mankind in the persons of Adam and Eve. Satan, says Milton, has no feeling for or knowledge of the value of what he sees in Eden, or in the rest of the created universe; he sees even the tree of life only as a vantage point from which he can spy on the activities within the garden. Though Satan fails to realize what Paradise is, Milton tries to explain its value to the reader of the poem:

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To all delight of human sense exposed
In narrow room nature's whole wealth, yea more,
A heaven on earth, for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted.

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