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Evelyn Chang A0070181 EN3221: The English Renaissance Tutorial W1 In Book II of Paradise Lost, we see the plight that

Satan and his fellow angels are in after being cast out from Heaven for their attempted rebellion. The fallen angels are arguing about plausible courses of action to take, and while some advocated that they should try to eke out a living on Earth, cutting their losses and moving on, there are also those who call for less peaceful actions, to wage war upon Heaven once more. In lines 228 283, we hear Mammons rallying call, as he incites his brethren to turn their hell into a Heaven of theirs. Throughout his speech, we see their displeasure towards God, and their inability to remain subservient. Hence in this essay, I would like to comment on Miltons depiction of God through the eyes of the fallen angels. It is rather interesting to consider how these fallen angels view God, since before their fall from grace, these angels are some of the closest beings to God.

Mammons choice of diction is highly bitter. He uses words like forced hallelujahs, hate and wearisome (1855) to describe their dire situation, if they were to return to Heaven and beg grace from God. It is obvious from these harsh words that they are unhappy to be under the thumb of God, preferring hard liberty before the easy yoke of servile pomp (1855). There is an obvious resentment towards God and the angels feel disdainful about the duties assigned to them. There seems to be a suggestion that the angels feel some sense of inequality, as they are to serve God and praise Him constantly, even as God sits on His throne, while his altar breathes ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, [their] servile offerings (1855).

This is made more poignant with Mammons depiction of God, calling God [their] envied Sovreign, and using terms like Heavns Lord supreme, the king of heaven, heavens allruling sire (1854 1855). These words show us plainly Gods absolute power and rule in Heaven, which is His right, as the Creator of everything and his powers of omniscience and omnipotence. However, the tone of Mammons speech conveys just how dissatisfied the angels are with God. The resentment that they feel is evident throughout, especially with the thought of having to return to Heaven to beg forgiveness from God, returning to a life where they had to receive strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne with warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits (1855).

As such, Mammons portrayal of God is highly unflattering, as if God is a despot and the angels suffer from forced servitude under Gods rule. The angels here see Gods rule of Heaven as an unequal one, and they sought to change that. Here, in their entire exchange, there are different angels taking turns to speak their minds, and are allowed to advocate different actions without suffering the consequences of defying or rebelling against God. They are freer after their fall, despite the idea that Heaven is the most perfect realm to dwell in, which brings across a tinge of irony as a result.

From Mammons phrase envied Sovreign (1855), we see the ambitions of these fallen angels. They had wanted to overthrow God from his throne, but failed and was cast out of Heaven as a result. Instead of learning their lesson, we now see that they are trying to recreate a Heaven of their own, in the depths of Hell. While Mammon does call for peace, since the demons cannot unthrone God without everlasting Fate [yielding] to fickle Chance, and Chaos [judging] the strife (1854), he does not simply supports Belials method of peaceful sloth (1854). Mammon counsels the rest of the angels that they ought to make Hell into the Paradise that they have lost, as seen from the lines, we can create, and in what place so eer thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain through labour and endurance, and Heavn resembles Hell (1855). Their desire to create their own Heaven seems to suggest that they want a greater degree of autonomy, and be masters of their own fate, as [God] [their] darkness, cannot [they] His light imitate when [they] please (1855).

Lastly, the image that Milton portrays with the depiction of Hell seems to suggest a greater degree of democracy amongst the fallen angels. The fallen angels take their turns to convince their brethren in a civilized, non-violent manner, bringing to mind a group of politicians holding an electoral debate. If such is the case, then the scene takes on an ironic turn. As people tend to harbour an innate suspicion towards politicians and their promises, we find ourselves doubting the veracity of the demons speeches as well, especially as Mammons words are carefully chosen to incite his brethren into supporting him. Adding on to the idea of irony, the fact that it is Mammon, who symbolizes Greed, telling the demons to be contented with their fate, and

make the best out of it. Furthermore, Mammons advice seems to parallel the Christian ideal of being satisfied with ones lot in life and not desiring for more than what one can achieve. As such, it is ironic because the demons are undermining the image of the ideal Christian, since there would be no differences between the two different beings.

From the demons depiction of God, we get feelings of resentment and resignation, as they know their own limits. Miltons portrayal of these demons creates a sense of sympathy within us, because we recognize the omniscience and omnipotence of God, and realize the possible futility of their actions, as God could easily destroy them, were He so inclined. There is also rampant irony in the passage; even as we are shown a rare glimpse of the demons clandestine meeting, we are unable to ascertain for ourselves whether or not they are speaking truthfully, or if they have a hidden agenda.

Works Cited Greenblatt, S and Abrams M. H. (2006) The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume B The Sixteenth Century / The Seventeenth Century New York: W. W. Norton & Company