Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 496-499 - Explanation

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Line. 496-499: O shame to men.....proclaiming peace.

      When Satan undertook the dangerous task of making an excussion into the material universe with the object of seducing man, all the devils assembled in Hell's conclave gave him unstinted and unaffected praise, rejoicing in their matchless chief. The occasion is used by the poet to comment in an aside on the contrast in man's behaviour with the devils.

      The poet regrets that while there is such perfect agreement between devils, none daring to oppose Satan or hold rivalry with him, men alone are always warring with one another, moved by envy and jealous rivalry, though man has been assured of divine grace, "and God has proclaimed that there should be peace on earth and goodwill amongst men."

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