Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 221-225 - Explanation

Also Read

Line. 221-225: Besides what hope.....more woe.

      Concluding his address to the conclave of the fallen angels in Hell. Belial exhorts them to hope for better days yet to come. Another in road on Heaven is sure to end in disaster, and it may not even be possible; for the Almighty who sees everything that is happening in Hell, may make their torments more unendurable. On the other hand, if they should acquiesce in their present lot, the Almighty may yet relent and reduce the rage of the fires that surround them; or they may grow so much accustomed to their lot, that in course of time they may not feel the pangs and pains they are feeling now. Besides who knows what the future holds yet in store for them? It may be that as days pass some accident or other may bring about better change for them. This is certainly worthy of waiting for, since their present lot, though judged by the standard of happiness, may be bad, yet judged by the standard of evil, is not the worst that could befall them, provided that by their rashness they did not provoke more evil to descend on their heads.

      These lines indicate what an embodiment of lethargy Belial is. The character is very cosistently drawn, since with his love of ease and pleasure, he combines fairness of speech and a subtle brain, by which he is able to twist arguments to suit his own ends. He does not want to fight, nor does he desire to appear a coward. Therefore, he reminds them about the supremacy of Fate, and the irrevocability of their lot. The best they can do therefore is to be content with their lot, which after all is not the worst that could have be fallen them, if they do not further provoke the wrath of the Almighty.

Previous Post Next Post