Book 1 Questions and Answers
1. What is Milton’s main purpose or theme of his epic poem?
2. What is the setting of the opening scene of the poem?
3. Who is next in command to the archangel Satan?
4. What is Satan’s attitude in the beginning of the poem?
5. In what way does Milton’s enumeration of his fallen angels resemble Homer’s Iliad?
6. Who leads the fallen angels to dig for gold in Hell? Why?
7. What is the name of the temple that rose out of the ground in Hell?
8. According to Milton, what had many of the pagan gods been before the history of Man?
9. What are Milton’s basic sources for Paradise Lost?
10. What is the plan of action for the fallen angels and their leaders at the end of Book I?
1. Milton intends to “justify the ways of God to men.”
2. Satan and his angels are chained to the burning lake of fire in Hell.
3. Beelzebub is next in command to Satan.
4. Satan is sure that, in spite of his present state in Hell, he will never bow to God.
5. The list of Milton’s fallen angels is an epic convention that resembles the catalogue of ships in Homer’s Iliad.
6. Mammon leads the fallen angels to dig for gold in Hell. He wants Hell to equal Heaven in riches.
7. The temple was called Pandemonium and served as Satan’s capitol in Hell.
8. Milton states that the pagan deities had once been demons in Hell and, before their rebellion, angels in Heaven.
9. Milton uses the epic poem, emulating Homer and Virgil. He alludes to the Bible and classical literature for his subject and characterization.
10. Satan and his angels gather in his capitol, Pandemonium, to discuss what they will do to avenge God.
Book 2 Questions and Answers
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?
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.
Book 3 Questions and Answers
1. What is the symbolic significance of the image of light in Book III?
2. Why is God referred to as “unapproached light”?
3. Whom does God point out to the Son as their dialogue begins?
4. Who answers God’s call for a volunteer to die for Man’s sins?
5. What is Jacob’s ladder in the biblical account?
6. How does Satan’s attitude toward God compare to Jacob’s as they each view the “stairway to Heaven”?
7. Who is Uriel? What does Satan ask of him?
8. Why does Satan disguise himself when he meets Uriel?
9. Why does the poet lament the fact that he finds “no dawn”?
10. Why does the poet compare himself to Homer (Maeonides)?
1. The image of light represents the essence of God because “God is light.”
2. God is “unapproached light” because no man has seen, nor is able to see Him.
3. God points to Satan who is nearing the wall of Heaven. God perceives Satan’s plan of revenge that will cause Man to fall.
4. The Son offers to go down to Earth and become a man who will give his life as a ransom for Man’s sin.
5. In a dream, Jacob sees a ladder that leads to Heaven with angels ascending and descending.
6. Jacob is filled with fear and reverence toward God, but Satan only feels envy when he sees God’s new world.
7. Uriel is the angel of the sun. Satan asks Uriel the direction to Paradise.
8. Satan disguises himself to avoid being recognized as a demon from Hell.
9. The poet (Milton) is blind.
10. Homer is also an epic poet who shares Milton’s fate of being blind.
Book 4 Questions and Answers
1. What does Satan feel is his greatest fault?
2. How does Satan feel about his own free will?
3. Where does Satan (in the form of a bird) alight when he first enters Paradise?
4. What is God’s only prohibition to Adam and Eve in the garden?
5. Which mythological character does Milton allude to in Eve’s story of her first day on Earth?
6. In what forms does Satan appear in Paradise in Book IV.
7. Where do Adam and Eve sleep in Paradise?
8. How does Uriel travel from his post in the sun to Paradise when he comes to warn Gabriel about an evil spirit that is loose?
9. What does Satan tell Gabriel when he is asked why he has left Hell?
10. Why does Satan finally leave Paradise?
1. Satan feels that his pride and ambition have brought him down to his miserable state.
2. Satan feels that he has been created free to fall.
3. Satan alights in the Tree of Life as a cormorant or bird.
4. God prohibits Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
5. Eve’s story, recalling her love for her own reflection, alludes to the classical myth of Narcissus.
6. Satan appears as a cormorant (bird) in the Tree of Life, a lion and tiger among the beasts, and a toad at Eve’s ear.
7. Adam and Eve sleep in a bower prepared for them by God.
8. Uriel glides down to Earth on a sunbeam.
9. Satan tells Gabriel he has left Hell to escape the pain.
10. God sends a sign from Heaven, preventing disaster and showing both Gabriel and Satan that they are powerless without God.
Book 5 Questions and Answers
1. Who is responsible for the evil nature of Eve’s dream?
2. What does Eve’s dream foreshadow?
3. How does Adam comfort Eve after her frightening dream?
4. Who is asked to join Adam and Eve in their morning praise to God?
5. What kind of food does Eve prepare for Raphael?
6. To whom does Raphael allude when he greets Eve with “Hail Mother of Mankind”?
7. Who has no superior to obey in the “scale of Nature”?
8. Why does Satan rebel against God?
9. Who speaks against Satan when he gathers his legions of angels in the North of Heaven to convince them to rebel against God?
10. How does Satan answer his sole disbeliever’s accusation that he is not obeying his creator?
1. Satan has come to Eve in the form of a toad and has attempted to reach “the organs of her fancy.”
2. Eve’s dream foreshadows Satan’s temptation of Eve and her consequent fall.
3. Adam tells her that evil can come and go in the mind and leave no trace of its presence.
4. Adam and Eve call on the planets, elements, trees, birds, beasts, and angels to join them in their praise of God.
5. Eve prepares the choicest fruits of Paradise for Raphael, their guest.
6. Raphael alludes to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Eve is literally the Mother of Mankind, however.
7. God alone has no superior in the “scale of Nature.”
8. Satan is jealous because God has proclaimed the Son as the angels’ superior.
9. Abdiel alone speaks against Satan and his rebellion against God.
10. Satan denies that God created him though he knows it is
Book 6 Questions and Answers
1. Who commends Abdiel for opposing Satan and his legions of angels?
2. What is Abdiel’s definition of servitude?
3. Who is the leader of God’s angels in the war in Heaven?
4. Which side uses gunpowder in the war in Heaven?
5. Which side picks up mountains and uses them as weapons?
6. Why does neither of the armies win the war?
7. Who is sent to end the war and drive Satan and his angels out of Heaven?
8. For how many days do Satan and his angels fall?
9. Who is the narrator for the story of the war in Heaven?
10. What does the narrator warn Adam about?
1. God commends Abdiel for speaking against Satan and bearing the reproach of the multitudes.
2. Abdiel tells Satan that servitude is to serve an unwise leader (namely Satan) who has rebelled against a natural superior.
3. Michael is the leader of God’s angels in the war.
4. Satan’s troops use gunpowder against the angels who have been victorious up to that point.
5. Michael’s angels pick up mountains and throw them at their opponents.
6. Both armies were created equal and cannot win. The war would have gone on indefinitely if God had not intervened.
7. God sends the Son to end the war and drive Satan and his angels out of Heaven.
8. Satan and his angels fall for nine days.
9. Raphael narrates the story of the war in Heaven.
10. Raphael warns Adam that Satan is in Eden, plotting their fall.
Book 7 Questions and Answers
1. What is the name of the poet’s muse?
2. What does the poet mean when he says that it is the meaning, not the name of the muse that he is calling forth?
3. What does God plan to do to repair the loss of Satan and his angels in Heaven?
4. Who is appointed by God to perform the act of creation?
5. Had the light appeared before the sun?
6. When is the firmament created and what is it later called?
7. On which day of creation does dry land appear?
8. Besides Man, what else is created on the sixth day?
9. What do God, the Son, and the angels in Heaven do on the Sabbath?
10. What happens...
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Book 8 Questions and Answers
1. What is Raphael’s answer to Adam’s question about the superfluous number of celestial bodies that serve only Earth?
2. What does Adam think is the primary purpose of the celestial bodies?
3. What does Adam see in his first moments of life?
4. Why are Adam and the sun important to each other?
5. What is the first thing that Adam wants to find after his creation?
6. What is an example of free will in Book VIII?
7. How did God create Eve?
8. What happens to Adam when he observes Eve’s loveliness?
9. What warning does Raphael give Adam about his wisdom concerning Eve?
10. What is...
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Book 9 Questions and Answers
1. Why is Book IX a central part of the epic poem?
2. What constitutes the climax of Paradise Lost ?
3. In what way is Book IX the turning point of the epic?
4. What is Adam and Eve’s tragic catastrophe?
5. How does the reader feel purged of his/her own emotional conflicts through the narrative?
6. Where has Satan been hiding for the last seven days?
7. How does Satan enter Paradise?
8. Why is Eve alone on the day of her temptation and fall?
9. According to the Serpent, what will be the effects of eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge?
10. What are the effects of the fall...
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Book 10 Questions and Answers
1. Who is sent from Heaven to judge Adam and Eve after the fall?
2. What is Adam and Eve’s punishment for their disobedience to God?
3. How does the Son judge the Serpent (Satan) for tempting Eve?
4. What do Sin and Death do to make Earth more accessible?
5. What will Eve’s descendants do to the Serpent’s offspring?
6. Who helps to bring Adam out of the depths of despair?
7. How does Death feel about his new empire on Earth?
8. What does Discord do on Earth after the fall?
9. What happens to Satan and his fallen angels when he arrives in Hell?
10. What happens to the fruit that is...
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Book 11 Questions and Answers
1. Who is sent to Earth to tell Adam and Eve about their expulsion from Paradise?
2. In what form does Michael appear on Earth?
3. What is Adam’s reaction when he is told that he must leave Paradise?
4. According to Michael, where can God be found?
5. Where is Eve while Adam and Michael discuss future events?
6. What method does Michael use to reveal the future to Adam?
7. Who are the two just men from the Bible who stand alone in Book XI?
8. What is Adam’s first real example of Death in the vision?
9. What is a lazer-house?
10. Why does God send the rainbow to Noah after the flood?...
(The entire section is 270 words.)
Book 12 Questions and Answers
1. What approach does Michael use to explain how the world will be restored?
2. Which seventeenth-century monarch can be compared to the character of Nimrod from the Bible?
3. Besides an empire, what did Nimrod build?
4. Who is the first leader of the mighty nation of Israel?
5. Who is sent to deliver the nation of Israel out of captivity?
6. Who is the enemy of the Israelites?
7. What becomes of Solomon’s people?
8. Who baptizes the first believers after Christ’s death?
9. Where is Eve while Michael is talking to Adam?
10. Who accompanies Michael as he leads Adam and Eve out of...
(The entire section is 214 words.)