Back to: Paradise Lost Summary by John Milton
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“Now Morn her rosie steps in th’ Eastern Clime
Advancing, sow’d the earth with Orient Pearle,
When Adam wak’t, so customd, for his sleep
Was Aerie light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperat vapors bland,”
The fifth book in Paradise Lost Series by John Milton artistically foreshadows the inevitable Fall of Man from Eden to Earth due to his disobedience to God. Revolving around Eve’s disturbing dream where Satan tries to coax her into eating the fruit of Forbidden Tree and the angel Raphael’s visit to Heaven to warn Adam and Eve of the rebellious Satan and his attempts to tempt them, the poem describes to its readers that the first creatures created by God are destined to disobey Him despite having free will and getting prewarning from their Creator.
The fifth book opens with the awakening of Adam from a peaceful sleep and reaching to Eve where he is told by her about the restless night followed by a strange dream in which an angel persuades her to eat the fruit of Forbidden Tree to receive godlike qualities but disappears suddenly when she goes near the tree.
Adam feels disturbed by Eve’s dream but tries to calm her saying that they will overcome this restlessness through their free will. Through Eve’s dream, Milton has foreshadowed the great Fall of Man and his disobedience to God.
This incident in the poem also highlights the fact that human beings are easy victims of false temptations and evil plans despite possessing the intellect to get rid of them. It is the reason that good and evil reside in this world side by side within every individual.
“Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve,
Partake thou also; happie though thou art,
Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be:
Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods
Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind,
But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes
Ascend to Heav’n, by merit thine, and see
What life the Gods live there,”
The second half of book 5 deals with Raphael’s visit to Eden to warn Adam and Eve about the evil designs and ill will of Satan. He tells them that Satan, with his fellow angels, disobeys and rebel God when He created His Son with knowledge and intellect to rule Heaven. The envious Satan, once the venerated archangel, wants all power and glory for himself only.
Therefore, he defies God and is thrown to Hell for his disobedience. Raphael’s warning to Adam and Eve is similar to the warning given by God to His creatures against Satan; however, Man’s First Fall and the sinful human beings dwelling today in the world vividly indicate that God’s crown of creation can easily become the prey of Satan’s evil temptations owing to its fragile will and worldly desires.
“Raphael, said hee, thou hear’st what stir on Earth
Satan from Hell scap’t through the darksom Gulf
Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd
This night the human pair, how he designes
In them at once to ruin all mankind.”
Book 5 of Paradise Lost brings to light the characters of Adam and Eve who believe in each other’s love, innocence, and purity. The poem also shows that Adam, being the pious man, has firm faith in his free will bestowed upon him by God which will assist him in destroying the evil temptations.
This book introduces the angel Raphael to the readers who is sent to Heaven by God to warn Adam and Eve of the evil plans of Satan. The angel Raphael is portrayed by Milton as a very obedient and erudite angel who happily obeys God’s orders and possesses the hidden knowledge of Heaven and Hell. Although Satan is not actively present in book 5, his evil plans are brought to light by Milton through Eve’s dream and Raphael’s forewarning.
“From amidst them forth he passd,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind
Superior, nor of violence fear’d aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turn’d
On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom’d.”
The literary device of foreshadowing is skilfully employed in the poem by Milton when he informs his readers about the impending Man’s Fall from Eden through Eve’s restless night and Raphael’s warning. Foreshadowing, in literature, is often used to highlight an important event or incident occurring in future to arouse the interest of readers by keeping them engaged in the thoughts of the coming occasion as Milton did in his poem.
Milton’s Paradise Lost Book 5 is a significant book in the series as it applies the technique of foreshadowing to depict the Fall of Man from Heaven; thus, highlighting to its readers the causes and reasons behind the infamous Fall.
Deserving Paradise! If ever, then,
Then had the Sons of God excuse to have been
Enamored at that sight”