Back to: Paradise Lost Summary by John Milton
Table of Contents
“ALL night the dreadless Angel unpursu’d
Through Heav’ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn,
Wak’t by the circling Hours, with rosie hand
Unbarr’d the gates of Light.”
A continuation of book 5, the sixth book of Paradise Lost by John Milton describes the fatal battle between the archangels and the fallen angels in Heaven by Raphael. As the forewarning of Raphael to Adam moves from Satan’s rebellion to the deadly war between the obedient angels and the rebellious ones, Satan’s evil designs, and his vicious desires are clearly dawned on the readers.
Analysing the Poem
The sixth book of Paradise Lost begins with Raphael’s narration of war between archangels and the fallen ones. The angel tells Adam that Satan, along with his rebellious army, wages a war against the virtuous angels in order to prove his power and intellect in front of God.
However, the army of archangels, led by Gabriel and Michael, wounds Satan with the potent sword and forces his army to surrender. The poem comes to its conclusion when Raphael warns Adam to remain aware of the evil temptations of Satan as, despite being wounded, he cannot be curtailed for long and will certainly fight back to destroy humanity.
The fatal war between good and evil resulting in the defeat of evil shows that evil can never win the war against virtue; no matter how powerful it is. The end result of evil is always surrender and subjugation in front of virtue.
“Hell heard th’ unsufferable noise, Hell saw
Heav’n ruining from Heav’n and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine dayes they fell; confounded Chaos roard,
And felt tenfold confusion in thir fall
Through his wilde Anarchie, so huge a rout
Incumberd him with ruin:”
The poem revolves around the famous theme of virtue against vice. Highlighting the age-old battle between good and evil, light and darkness, order and chaos and justice and anarchy, the sixth book confirms the belief that good always triumphs over evil due to its piousness and righteousness.
“They ended parle, and both addresst for fight
Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue
Of Angels, can relate, or to what things
Liken on Earth conspicuous, that may lift
Human imagination to such highth”
Point of View
The poem is composed in third person omniscient narrative where an all-knowing and all-seeing narrator describes in detail the events and incidents of the poem. The third person point of view provides the readers a comprehensive outline of the happenings in the literary text.
Dealing with the primitive issue of good versus evil and the fatal battle between them, Paradise Lost Book 6 highlights the reasons behind this deadly battle and its consequences.
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite don against the most High,
Thee once to gaine Companion of his woe.
But list’n not to his Temptations, warne
Thy weaker; let it profit thee to have heard
By terrible Example the reward
Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.”