Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 1051-1053 - Explanation

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Line. 1051-1053: And fast the moon.

      Satan, arrived close to the new universe created by God, views it from a distance and observes it not to be bigger than a star of smallest magnitude beside the moon. By the world Milton means the entire Universe enclosed by the Primum Mobile, and the contrast that Satan notes is between this new Universe and the Empyreal Heaven from which it was hanging on a golden chain. The Empyreal Heaven appeared to him like a moon, and the new Universe like a star.

      Milton brings out in these lines the contrast in size and magnitude between the world and Heaven, how small the former is in comparison with the kingdom of God. Some editors take the world to mean the earth or the steller universe merely, but the context clearly indicates it to mean the entire Universe bounded, according to Ptolemy, by the Primum Mobile.

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