John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 9 (ctd.)

Before Satan gets down to the business of tempting, he has a long soliloquy. I can’t bring myself to listen to the actual opera by Penderecki, but if this were an opera, this would be like Satan’s big aria. He admires the beauty of the Earth, which is, he says, probably even more beautiful then Heaven because it’s like Heaven 2.0. It’s surrounded with all these lights which serve it to create life. But Satan can’t truly enjoy it because he is tormented by all this beauty which does not belong to him. He doesn’t wish to live there or in Heaven, unless he could become its master, but he wants to ruin it for everyone else. He feels the degradation he is going to undergo by entering an animal body, but his need for revenge is greater than that. So he finds an appropriate snake, fast asleep and still “nocent” (I had no idea this was a word!), enters its body and waits until the morning. Adam and Eve wake up, step out of their bower and start discussing work organization, because the garden is getting too overgrown for the two of them.

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