Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 37-40 - Explanation

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Line. 37-40: We now return.....assured us.

      Concluding his opening address of the rebel angels in Pandemonium, Satan hade them deliberate on the best way of regaining what they had lost. They had risen in revolt against God, and when defeated they had been thrown into Hell, and subjected to the fiercest torments. But they had recovered, and they had been able to meet in council. Now let them consider how they may regain what they have lost.

      Satan tells them that their proper place is in Heaven not in Hell. It has been given to them by right from very ancient times, and God has seized it from them. They must now consider how best they may reclaim it. Their recent experiences would stand them in god stead and if they profit by them what has been lost shall be theirs once again. Satan feels that he cannot have been as certain of his success, as he is now, but for those experiences because had no such misfortune befallen them, and they had remained in Heaven, the success they had then achieved could only have been of a doubtful character. He lectures them on the theme that adversity is a great teacher and in their attempt now after their sad experiences they are bound to succeed.

      Satan’s self-confidence and extravagant faith in the justice of his cause are revealed in this passage.

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