Paradise Lost Book 2: Line 542-546 - Explanation

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Line. 542-546: As when Alcides.....the Eubole sea.

      This is one of the similes in Paradise Lost, Book II, which describes one of the ways by which the fallen angels amused themselves during the absence of Satan from Hell on his expedition to Earth to seduce Man from God. Some of them disported themselves by tearing up huge rocks and bills from the bottom and flinging them afar, just as Alcides or Hercules tore up Thessalian pines by their roots, or Lichas from where he stood, and threw them into the sea.

      Newton objects to the simile on the ground that the image of Alcides tearing up Thessalian pines sinks below that of the angels rending up both rocks and hills, and riding the air in a whirlwind.

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