Dramatic Elements (Tragedy) in Paradise Lost Book 9

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      As Milton himself tells us, he was for a long time choosing the subject for his epic and late in beginning to write his ‘heroic Song’.

      We know from a study of his notebooks of the early 1640’s that Milton had made sketches for a five-act dramatic version of the story of the Fall of Man. He made no less than four drafts for a tragedy on the subject. There are many passages in Paradise Lost that correspond to episodes in Milton’s most detailed synopsis of his projected tragedy and may well have been written for the tragedy that Milton abandoned and adapted for incorporation in his epic. But it is not the presence of these possible fossils from the projected tragedy that makes Paradise Lost so dramatic.

Dramatic Element in Epic Poetry

      The fact that he had considered the subject of Man’s fall so persistently as a tragic subject deeply affected Milton’s handling of it in narrative form. Paradoxically, the great advantage of handling it in epic form was that it made possible a far more dramatic treatment of every element in the story than would have been possible within the limits of a drama.

      Johnson, in speaking of the art of epic poetry, the invention of which he ascribes to Homer’s vigor and amplitude of mind, includes as one of its main features ‘the interposition of dialogue’. Dramatic immediacy is a quality of all epic, as distinct from romantic narrative. Epic poetry tends always to dramatic heightening, to presenting scenes in which the characters express their convictions, fears, hopes, and feelings, in conflict with each other and in impassioned speech. But Paradise Lost is remarkable for the quite exceptional amount of debate, discussion, persuasion, and lament that it contains. A very large proportion of the poem is in direct speech. Such scenes as the debate in Hell, the quarrel between Adam and Eve, the temptation of Eve, come to mind at once. But in addition to these scenes of dramatic conflict, presenting the clash of wills, Milton also makes as unprecedented use of soliloquy, the most striking feature of the Elizabethan drama. Satan has no less than five long soliloquies, almost as many as Hamlet, and Adam is allowed a hundred and twenty lines of solitary lament.

      The intensely dramatic handling of the figure of Satan is a main cause of the extraordinary hold he has on the imagination. The direct presentation of his agony and loss of his inveterate hatred against God and his malice towards man, belongs to the earliest beginnings of Paradise Lost in Milton’s creative imagination. Satan has the objectivity of a dramatic figure, and resists all attempts to reduce him to a mere personification of evil. His peers are on the tragic stage.

Dramatic Structure of Paradise Lost

      The whole structure and design of the poem also has the concentration of drama upon a single climax. Having first cast this subject into dramatic form, Milton was faced with the problem of converting a subject to which he had given the concentration of classical drama into a subject capable of filling the large, discursive form of classical epic. The direct action of Paradise Lost remains very slight for all its momentousness. It is essentially a dramatic action expanded.

      The scheme of the poem as finally written has preserved the tragic poet’s concentration on the single event, the crisis of the action. Everything points to the Fall, leads to it and from it. By so shaping his material Milton was able to set in the center of his epic his cosmic theme of the revolt of the angels and the creation of the world, displaying the contrary energies of destruction and creation. But by making these tremendous events the subject of a relation he makes clear that it is the human theme that is the true theme of his poem, that ‘Man’s First Disobedience’ is the moment to which everything tends. The Fall is plotted in Hell, it is foreseen and its remedy is found in Heaven, the central books with the long relations are the preparation of man for the supreme test of his will to love and obey his Maker. The whole drama hinges on two simple acts:

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat: (Lines 780-81)
She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit
With liberal hand: he scrupl’d not to eat
Against his better knowledge, not deceived
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembl’d from her entrails, as again
In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,
Sky loured, and muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at completing of the mortal sin
Original. (Lines 996-1004)

      These slight symbolic actions - a hand reaching out and plucking: a hand taking from another hand, a hand lifting fruit to the mouth—are the climax of the whole action and Milton does not adorn his climax. The storm that breaks is not a terrible storm: sky loures, thunder mutters, a few sad drops fall. That is all. Long before the cinema was invented Milton one of its most thrilling methods: the panorama, an aerial view of a country or a city, the settling on a village or a street, then on a house, and then on a room in the house, and finally the focusing on some tiny significant act, the tearing of a letter, the lifting of a glass. Dramatic intensity can take two fonts, a heightening of actions and of speech so that the imagination is taken by storm, or, if we have been sufficiently prepared, the naked presentation of a slight but significant act. When at last we come to it, with the weight of the poem behind it, the undramatic presentation of this simple act of disobedience is profoundly dramatic.

      As W. Graham points out, in Book IX, “interest is sustained by the interplay of dialogue and the interaction of character, and suspense is maintained by carefully placed pauses in the action. The drama is equally one of ideas as of clash of temperaments, for Milton’s method of distinguishing his characters is to place them in situations which call as much for an extreme statement of their points of view as for an intuitive reaction to events”.

Paradise Lost Book IX Analysed as a Five-act Tragedy

      If we consider Paradise Lost Book IX alone, we may see the dramatic structure of the Book in the form of a prologue followed by five Acts.


      The opening lines of the Book (Lines 1-47) may be considered as a prologue to the tragedy. The poet tells us that he will now change his tone to the tragic. He is to depict the tragedy of Man—the drama of his temptation and fall, the sin of that first man which brought suffering to all mankind. This lofty theme of the tragedy, says the poet, will be successfully depicted if he continues to have the help of his ‘celestial patroness’ who has so far inspired him in his work.


      We may say that Act I begins with an account of Satan’s nocturnal voyage of exploration round the world. A long soliloquy gives us a peep into the character’s mind. It is in the soliloquy that the quality which makes Satan a tragic figure appears most strikingly; it is the quality that C.S. Lewis makes weightiest against him. his egoism. “Satan’s monomaniac concern with himself and his supposed rights and wrongs is a necessity of the Satanic predicament.” Satan cannot endure the happiness of others. His sole aim is to destroy happiness. He plans to take revenge on God and chooses to do so by destroying His creations-Adam and Eve who have done him no harm. Under cover of darkness he enters Paradise, surveys the delightful scene around him, is so deeply affected by it that he forgets, all about for a moment, his purpose for coming there.

      There is momentary regret for the Heaven he has lost, a faint flickering of the former angelic conscience at the idea of destroying the Paradise on earth. But the fixe will and “obdurate Pride” have hardened still more. Whatever Satan is, there is Hell:

the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my state. (Lines 118-123)

      Recovering himself, he goes ahead and chooses to assume the form of a snake in order to achieve his mean purpose. He is fully aware of the degradation he is about to do, the wickedness of revenge and its recoiling effect. But the passion that grips him and tortures him cannot be held in control. He is determined to have his revenge whatever the consequences. He is fully aware of the degradation he has undergone and is to undergo further by assuming the shape of a beast and mixing with ‘bestial slime’. Through Satan’s lips, Milton utters the theory of tragedy he shared with his classical predecessors and Elizabethan near-contemporaries, the tragic irony of a degeneration such as Satan’s:

O, foul descent: that I who erst contended
With Gods to sit the highest, am now constrained
Into a beast, and mixed with bestial slime,
This essence to incarnate and imbrute
That to the height of deity aspired:
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to? Who aspires must down as low
As high he soared. (Lines 163-170)

      Descent from his once grand nature and stature to the baseness he has deliberately chosen is emphasized by the figures of speech in the passage. Satan acts, takes the first step in the plan for revenge by entering the serpent through the mouth. He then waits for the morning.


      The scene for this Act’s beginning is set in the morning in Eden. An idyllic life of innocence is presented. Adam and Eve sing hymns in praise of their Creator, joining in the praise, though wordless, sent up by the animals. But in the wings wait their arch-enemy to bring them to ruin. Adam and Eve then converse. Eve suggests to Adam that they divide their labors, and work in different parts of the Garden. She justifies her proposal on the ground that the luxuriant Garden is growing beyond them. Eve here asserts her independence and emerges as an individual character. She suggests to Adam, in all innocence, that they would get through more work if they Worked apart:

what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or objects new
Casual discourse draw on (Lines 221-223)

      Adam demurs because of the danger of Eve’s being found alone by the Enemy.

As one who loves, and some unkindness meets, (Lines-271)

      Eve, replies that Adam’s reasons imply doubt of her ‘firm faith’ and ‘love’:

Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breast
Adam, is thought of her to thee so dear? (Lines 288-289)

      Adam replies ‘with healing words’, pointing out that both are stronger when together;

I from the influence of thy looks receive
Access in every virtue,
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
When I am present? (Lines-315-316)

      But Eve, still feeling herself undervalued, and enjoying standing up to Adam in argument, now takes higher ground: What is the value of virtue that cannot stand trial unaided? Adam replies ‘fervently’, trying to make her seen things in their true light:

O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordained them, his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he Created, much less Man,
Or aught that might his happie State secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receive no harm (Lines 343-350)

      The danger is of reason being deluded by ‘some fair appearing good’. It is not for us, Adam concludes, to seek temptation; ‘trial will come unsought’. If Eve would prove her constancy let her first prove her obedience. Adam, however, has become a little piqued by Eve’s attitude (no doubt he sees: she is still unwilling to give way), and so he ends by saying that if she still thinks that they will be less prepared for their trial if it comes unexpectedly than if they go consciously to seek it, then she should go, for her staying against her will is worse than her absence. Eve, cleverly ignoring the reluctance of Adam’s consent, accepts it with a submissive air.

      This scene has done all that is required of it. First Eve has become an individual character, capable of acting on her own. This is the Eve who falls to the wiles of the Serpent—confident, adventurous, argumentative, speculative, a little irked at moments by her inferior position: these are the proclivities Satan will play on so cunningly and surely. Secondly, the train of fatal events has been stated without calling in question the innocence of Adam and Eve. It is true that Eve has opposed Adam and that he has yielded to her, but these are not sins’ They do not lose their temper, and it is only after the Fall that they indulge in recriminations about the incident; it is not until then that the poet admits any word of blame (at the time he shows only pity), and then it is they who, so humanly, blame each other.

      In the words of W. Graham, “The scene is remarkably effective; the characters have become individualized; both express their view at sufficient length for the reader to appreciate their respective merits; if Eve has the better of the argument, making her attitude appear reasonable and her fall, therefore, unlikely, then Adam, we know, will be demonstrably right; there is a kind of lucid frankness in their discussion which is endearing in comparison with Satan’s agonized self-deception. Meanwhile, almost unnoticed, fatal decisions have been taken: Eve refuses to stay, ‘Safest and seemliest by her Husband’; he who ‘guards her’, has, in a sense, failed to do so: when, later, she falls, he follows her inevitably and ‘with her, the worst endures’, as we knew he would”.


      There is a brief narrative interlude—a brief pause that creates a sense of suspense and creates one's curiosity even while defining Eve’s personality further. She says she will be back for lunch, little knowing what lies in store for her. At noon Eve stands beneath the forbidden tree, the arguments of the cunning serpent reinforced by her own appetite: and the noontide repast that both she and her husband eventually eat the fatal apple. Milton’s lingering on this final moment when prelapsarian man and woman stood hand in hand for the last time produces its own plangent emotion. We are made to realize fully that Eve, for all her promises, will never return—not this Eve, not the unfallen bride with her innocent display of her naked beauty.

      Now comes the central act—the scene between Eve and the Satan. Compared to Adam’s Eve’s Temptation and Fall are so complex that we must watch each step closely. Satan realizes that he has been fortunate to find her alone, without Adam, who would have proved a “foe not in formidable”. He appears before Eve in all the splendor a prelapsarian serpent might have possessed, not prone on the ground, but rising in towering folds, with burnished neck and eyes like carbuncles. “pleasing was his shape and lovely”.

As she tends the flowers she is described as
mindless the while,
Her self; though largest unsupported Flower,
From the best prop so far, and storm so nigh.

      Eve’s mindlessness, her careless happiness, is one of her charms, but it is also her most vulnerable point. She has already forgotten her brush with Adam, and forgotten his warning.

      When the Serpent has succeeded in attracting her attention he addresses her in the extravagant language of ‘courtly love’. Adam’s adoration of Eve is now seen in another light: She is beautiful but there is only one man capable of discerning ‘half what in thee is fair':

Who shouldst be seen
A Goddess among Gods, ador’d and serv’d
By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.
So gloz’d the Tempter, and his Proem tun’d;
Into the heart of Eve his words made way,
Though at the voice much marveling. (Lines 546-551)

      In reply to her questions the Serpent tells how he has attained to both speech and reason by eating of the fruit of a certain tree; and then, resuming his strain of courtly love, he tells her that, after considering all things in Earth and Heaven with ‘capacious mind’, he found nothing so good and fair as she, and was compelled to come and worship her. With pleased feminine dignity, Eve puts aside the adulation, but she is now urged by curiosity to behold the miraculous tree. ‘Lead the way’; says Eve to the serpent when they come to the tree and Eve sees what tree it is, she, sinless’ as the poet says, briefly tells the Serpent of the prohibition in a matter-of-fact manner indicating that this is an end of the matter. But whilst she is guilelessly instructing him, he is all impatience to start casting his spells to confound her. Here as usual Milton uses a simile as a transposed description of what would otherwise be unimaginable; this image remains in the mind, and it is an orator rather than as a snake that we see Satan during the speeches that follow and throughout the scene of the temptation.

      Satan’s opening speech is a brilliant feat of sophistry, proceeding from the lie, which Eve has no means of detecting, that he himself has tasted the fruit. His aim is to tempt her with the ambition to improve her lot, as he has improved his, through forbidden knowledge. In order to succeed, he must remove her fear of disobeying God’s command; and this entails making her skeptical of the reality of death and evil and, above all, of a supreme and righteous Ruler. His arguments play bewilderingly in and out of each other. He starts by assuring her. ‘Ye shall not die’. Is he himself, who has tasted the fruit, dead? No, indeed, he has achieved a life more perfect. Will God be angry at Eve’s doing likewise? Will he not rather praise her courage in risking death (‘whatever thing Death be’) in order to achieve a higher and happier life by knowledge of good and evil?

Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
Be real, why not Known, since easier shunned?
God therefore cannot hurt Ye, and be just;
Not just, not God; not fear’d then, nor obey’d....
Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,
His worshippers; he knows that in the day
Ye eat thereof your eyes that seem so clear,
Yet are but dim, shall perfectly be then
Opened and cleared and ye shall be as Gods,
Knowing both Good and Evil as they know. (Lines 698-709)

      Perhaps that is all death means, putting off humanity for divinity. And what are the gods anyway, that man should not become as they? Because they existed before Man they pretend to have created Man and his world. ‘I question it’, says Satan, ‘for I see this world producing everything of itself they nothing.’ The way Satan shifts back and forth between one God and gods illustrates his technique of confusing the issues.

      Eve is left gazing fascinated at the fruit, convinced by the Tempter’s arguments and with appetite now prompting her to eat; Appetite, it has often been pointed out, only comes in as an incentive after her mind has succumbed; the temptation has been entirely mental. It is nevertheless significant that appetite, sensual desire, should assail her just at this point, when reason has surrendered. Before she plucks the fruit she does indeed pause to reason with herself but only to justify what she is intent on doing. Her reasoning shows her mind entirely dominated by Satan’s; her argument merely echo his. Her train of thought leads her on not only to deny God but to accept the Serpent as her benefactor; he, unlike God, envies not, but brings with joy.

The good befall’n him... (Lines 770-771)

      She has turned Satanist. As Eve plucks and eats the fruit Satan is seen again as a snake and contemptuously dismissed from the scene.

      The effect of eating the fruit is instantaneous. Not only does she eat but, as never before, to excess. Momentarily she fancies that she really feels the effect the serpent has promised, “expectation high of knowledge”. Eve is more than a little drunk, and like many intoxicated persons, experiences euphoria. She believes herself not only in complete control of the situation but entirely justified in all she has done and plans to do. She has suddenly become crafty and sly, like the serpent who tempted her. Ambition and aspiration have done their work. One most important question remains: shall she share her discovery with Adam or keep it to herself?

      Eve’s first instinct to keep the knowledge to herself almost immediately gives way to another. Suppose it is true, as God said, that if you eat the fruit you shall surely die?

Then I shall be no more:
And Adam, wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct:

      Her ‘so dear I love him’ is genuine; and we must remember that her love not only brings about Atom’s Fall but in the end brings about their reconciliation to each other and to God. Nevertheless all her thoughts at the moment are self-regarding; it is what she will gain or lose that occupies her. This selfishness in love is a direct and unavoidable effect of the situation created by her Fall; her love can now act in only one of two ways, by giving up Adam or by betraying him. Adam will be faced with a similar dilemma. The human situation has been corrupted: that is the fact to remember as we come to Adam’s ordeal.


      Now comes the temptation of Adam, a much simpler one than that of Eve. Not far from the Tree, Eve sees Adam coming in search of her and runs to meet him. What she says is a mixture of love and wiliness:

Hast thou not wondered, Adam, at my stay?
Thee I have mist, and thought it long, depriv’d
Thy presence, agonie of love till now
Not felt,..... (Lines 856-859)

      This, coldly considered, is a lie; until a few moments ago she had not thought of him at all. But the deceit is perhaps only half conscious; it is what she feels at the moment, and as always with Eve it is her feeling that counts. Her thinking may be confused and tricky but her feelings are always clear and direct. She then tells what she has done and of the marvellous effects of the fruit, adding that she has sought it all for Adam.

      The picture of Adam, smitten by horror and letting fall from his slack hand the garland of roses he had woven for Eve while awaiting her return, is full of dramatic power. The shift in tempo from Eve’s rapid speech to the description of Adam’s reaction, slow and horror-struck, is emphasized by the lingering cadence of ‘and all the faded Roses shed.’ The control and dignity of Adam’s reply to Eve show him as yet the unfallen, but gradually allowing his compassion and affection to lead him to the wrong course of action. He does not reproach her (reproaches only come after both have fallen), and his opening words are still of admiration and compliment:

O fairest of Creation, last and best
Of all Gods work, Creature in whom excelled
Whatever can to sight or thought be formed,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost
Detac’t, dcHowrd, and now to Death devote?"...
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. (Lines 896-916)

      This is brilliantly done. Though Adam has reached the wrong conclusion, it is difficult to put one’s finger on the exact point where he went wrong.

      Confronted by this awful dilemma Adam takes what seems, under the stress of his feeling, the only possible decision. The poet himself speaks of his hero: ‘Submitting to what seemed remediless’. His decision taken, Adam recovers from the stupor of shock and can think again:

Bold deed thou hast presum’d, adventurous Eve,
And peril great provok’t”...
But Past who can recall, or don undoe?
Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate,....

      This is the cold truth, but he tries to reassure Eve and himself by arguing away the consequences of her deed. Perhaps she will not die; perhaps her offence was not so heinous since the fruit had already been profaned by the Serpent; in any case the Serpent has not died but attained to higher life, and so perhaps may they. Nor surely, would God destroy his ‘prime Creatur’es’ for then his adversaiy could say that. God is fickle and none can please him for long. These desperate reasonings show where Adam’s resolve has placed him, for they are the same that Satan had used to tempt Eve, and he ends on a note of Satanic mockery of God. He is, however, far from convinced by his attempt to talk himself out of the situation; he is not deceived. This is apparent from his abruptly dismissing all such speculations as irrelevant to his purpose;

However I with thee have fixt my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom;
Our state cannot be served, we are one
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself. (Lines 952-959)

      These words are as irresistible as those of his silent resolution not to desert Eve, and leave us in no doubt of the compulsion of his love; and it is love untouched by sensuality. The poet is putting the issue in its extreme form, piling up the odds as he moves to the climax of his story. Eve, who has been silent all this time but certainly not out of the picture, now breaks out in praise of Adam’s ‘exceeding love’. Against his better knowledge, not deceiv’d, Adam sins. He eats the fruit knowing well what he is doing.

      ‘Female charm’ is the seemingly preternatural, the irresistible power Eve exercises over him; and as he had told Raphael, this is a matter not only of her physical attractions but of all she means to him as the companion of his life—all that is expressed again in those two passages of passionate refusal to desert her. From the humanistic standpoint, this may be ‘love as human beings know it at its best’; but it is not for Milton the kind of love that leads up to heavenly love. Adam prefers his love of Eve to love of God, and the immediate consequence is the corruption of the love he prizes so highly. As he eats the fruit he, like Eve before him, is all sensual appetite; and the immediate sequel is lust ‘in lust they burne’.

      Milton knew just what he was about. Supposing he had not let Adam speak in a way that warms our hearts and commands our sympathy, making us feel that he has no alternative but to act as he does, where then would have been the force of the situation, where the moral? We must feel to the full Adam’s predicament, feel that he has no choice, before the poet comes down with his stern and measured judgment.


      The final Act depicts the immediate effects of the fall. As with Eve, the effect of the fruit is instantaneous in the case of Adam. Again the vocabulary changes. The words Milton chose to describe the effect of the fruit on Eve were words of excess in eating and drinking. The vocabulary now combines intoxication and gluttony with excess in sexual indulgence:

As with new wine intoxicated both
They swim in mirth
But that false fruit
Far other operation first displayed,
Carnal desire inflaming. He on Eve
Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him
As wantonly repaid. In lust they burn:
Till Adam thus gain Eve to dalliance move. (Lines 1008-1016)

      The scene that follows is at the opposite pole from the earlier nuptial bower and the hymn to wedded love. Eve ‘inflames’ Adam’s sense ‘with an ardor to enjoy’. He ‘forbore not glance or toy of amorous intent’. Eve’s ‘eye darted contagious fire’. They took ‘their fill of love and love’s disport’; they sealed their naked guilt with ‘amorous play’ (lines 1031-45). When they wake from ‘grosser sleep’, innocence is gone. Their naked bodies now seem shameful—how unlike to that first naked glory; They go out to make themselves loincloths of fig-leaves. Not only have self-consciousness and shame come upon them, ‘but tears rained at their eyes’, tears happy man had not known except for those two idyllic ones Adam had kissed away from Eve’s eyes after her dream. Anger, hate, distrust, suspicion, discord enter into Eden. We listen to the first quarrel of man and woman—no longer Man and Woman. They fling recriminations at one another as some of their descendants were to fling pots and pans. It was all your fault; Why didn’t you do what I told you to? Why didn’t you stop me? It was all your fault. Back and forth, back and forth, the perennial see-saw of two human beings who once loved and now hate each other. In mutual accusation, they ‘spent the fruitless hours, but neither self-convincing’. The prototypes of what Man might have been have suddenly come alive, stepping down from their pedestals to a level only too familiar to their descendants—

For Understanding ruled not, and the will
Heard not her lore; both in subjection now
To sensual Appetite, who from beneath
Usurping over sovereign Reason claimed
Superior sway.


      But although the scheme of Paradise Lost has a dramatic concentration unprecedented in epic, it has also a wider scope in time and space than any other epic poem. It has at once a strict design and an immense discursiveness; at once focuses upon a single historic event and includes an encyclopedia of world history. The universe of Paradise Lost is also wholly undramatic, because the dramatist himself defies the first rule of dramatic presentation by being himself present throughout, an actor in his own play. He is not merely present in the beautiful prologues in which, going beyond all epic precedent, Milton takes the reader into the sanctuary of his own hopes and fears and sorrows, but he is present, as producer or presenter of his own drama, on the stage throughout. Paradise Lost infuses into its great impersonal theme the most intense personal feeling, and the poet deliberately aims at evoking an emotional response in us. Milton is attempting to have the best of both worlds. He is attempting to combine what might be thought contraries to achieve two effects usually thought incompatible; to secure the concentration of drama while enjoying the discursiveness of epic and to make us respond to the objectivity of an accepted historic fable while engaging us personally in a story that expresses the poet’s personal feelings and personal views.

University Questions

How far it is correct to call Paradise Lost, Book IX as a drama in five Acts.
“Book IX (of Paradise Lost) is not a narrative poem: it is a highly wrought tragedy”. Discuss.
How far is the clash of ideas and personalities in Book IX of Paradise Lost dramatic?
Discuss the view that Book IX of Paradise Lost closely corresponds to the structure of a Greek tragedy.
The universe of Paradise Lost is intensely dramatic. Critically examine this statement with reference to Book IX.

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