Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 69-76 - Summary

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      This passage is linked with Book IV. As in the beginning of Book IV, the subject once again is Satan’s entry into Paradise. The Devil has profited by his previous experience and avoided light so that Uriel may not detect him and forewarn the guardian angels of Paradise, as he did earlier.

      The place where Satan landed is here indicated. Milton recalls his description of the river flowing through Eden but here assigns a definite geographical name to the river calling it Tigris. This river flowed through a subterranean (underground) passage, and part of it came up again in the form of a fountain just by the side of the ‘Tree of Life’ and, after watering the Garden of Eden, rejoined its parent river. But all this - as Milton says in a parenthesis - has since been unrecognizably changed due to the sin and Fall of Man.

      Satan made use of the fact that this river entered Paradise through a subterranean passage. He sank along with the river and came up with it inside Paradise, wrapped in rising mist. Thus, Satan’s entry into Paradise remained unnoticed this time. Once inside Paradise, Satan’s concern was to find a place where he should remain hidden for the night. After great deliberation, he decided to enter the body of a serpent, as that seemed to him to be the creature best suited to his evil purposes.

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