What do you mean by Epic Simile in Paradise Lost?

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      Simile is a rhetorical device which is a comparison between two different things. The epic Simile is generally a long comparison of an event, object or person with something essentially different. All the great epic poets such as Homer, Virgil, Tasso, Spencer and Milton has used this technique in their compositions.

In Book 1 of Paradise Lost Milton has magnificently employed this rhetorical device of epic Simile.
Epic Simile

      In Book 1 of Paradise Lost Milton has magnificently employed this rhetorical device of epic Simile. The first epic Simile employed by Milton in Book 1 is the comparison of Satan's huge size with that Sea beast Leviathan, which was created so big that swim across the ocean stream. Next the physical dimension of Satan are emphasized with reference to various other epic Similes. For instance his long spear is compared to the tallest pine tree, his shield is being compare to the moon as observed by the ancient astronomers. Then there are a series of Similes the point of each of which is that the fallen angels are innumerable.

      Satan's legions lie stunned "thick as autumnal leaves that strow the Brooks in vallombrosa." Again the countless number of the angels and the scenes of confusion among them whose gathering to dryland is compared with the landing of the barbarians upon Rome. And finally there are two more important epic Smiles found in Book 1 where the hell of pandemonium is compared to the lists of chivalric encounters and the the reduced size of devils is compared to the human dwarfs and pygmies found in the Himalayas. It is thus Milton greatly employees the technique of epic Simile in his Book 1 of Paradise Lost which intensifies the desired effect.

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