Paradise Regained "The Olive Grove Of Academe"

John Milton

"The Olive Grove Of Academe"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: As Paradise was lost because man succumbed to the temptation of Satan by eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, even so, says Milton, Paradise was regained because the man Jesus refused to succumb to the temptation of Satan in his forty days of trial in the wilderness. Satan, observing with alarm the baptism of Christ and the proclamation by God that He is His Son, calls together his council in Hell and determines to attempt to bring about the fall of Christ as he had caused the fall of Eve. Led into the wilderness, Christ, fasting, is tempted by Satan to assume the power of turning stones into bread and of freeing Israel from Roman dominion. Unsuccessful in these temptations, Satan vainly offers Jesus the power of Rome and the wisdom of Athens:

Look once more e're we leave this specular Mount
Westward, much nearer by Southwest, behold
Where on the Aegean shore a City stands
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil,
Athens the eye of Greece, Mother of Arts
And Eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or Suburban, studious walks and shades;
See there the Olive Grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement . . .