Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 231-233 - Explanation

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Line. 231-233: Him to unthrone.....judge the strife.

      In Hells' conclave Mammon, the Spirit of Wealth, rising to address the assembly on Satan's motion what they should do to wreak their vengeance on the Almighty, brushed aside even at tlie very outset the thought of unseating God from His throne. They could never hope for it, unless Fate so willed, and set Chance and Chaos to arbitrate between them and God. But it could not be even a very remote possibility; it was vain to hope for that eventuality.

      Fate is regarded by all the evil powers of Hell to be mightier than the Almighty. It is the supreme power overrulling all, even God Himself. Chaos is the name given to the ruler of all that space between the Empyrean and Hell, a realm which is always in state of turmoil and confusion. He is himself the personification of anarchy and irregularity, while Chance, who is next to Chaos in his realm and his governor, is a vivid personification of that unreasoning and illogical element of accident which sometimes crops up in life. Later in the poem in describing the realm of Chaos, Milton defines the quality of the ruler's judgment as more embroiling the fray by which he reigns, so that we do not feel quite sure that even were Chaos appointed arbiter between God and the fallen angels the decision would be in favour of the latter. Yet such is Mammon's hope, perhaps because of the idea that Chaos could have nothing in common with the giver and preserver of all law and order.

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