John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 10 (ctd.)

Sin and Death set towards the Earth, and even the constellations of stars through which they pass shine less brightly. Meanwhile Satan goes to Hell via the bridge against which waves of Chaos break furiously (because Chaos hates all order, hence also the satanic bridge). The gates of Hell are empty, because their previous gatekeepers are busy on the Earth, and the rest of Hell is empty, too, because everybody is gathered in the Pandemonium, awaiting anxiously the news. Satan passes through the Pandemonium invisible, sits down on his throne and only then later makes himself visible. He is greeted with surprise, raises his hand to silence the murmur and starts to speak. He says he achieved his purpose and now all the Earth is open to devils, who can reach it now through this comfortable bridge, unlike him, who had to plod through the dangerous waves of Chaos. He managed to tempt Man by the apple (I think this is the first time in PL when the fruit is identified as such) and now, since Man, the ruler of the Earth, is subject to him, the Earth is his dominion too. Man is punished and cast off by God, he declares confidently, and there was some vague prophecy about bruising the serpent’s head, but who could mind a bruise when there is a whole world to be gained?

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