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

Death says it’s all the same to him whether it’s Paradise or Hell, as long as he has enough food and he never has enough food. Sin tells him to start with flowers and animals, while she prepares man for him as the final and best dish. God, seeing this from a distance, says to his angels, “Look how foolish they are, Sin, Death and all the devils, thinking I left the Earth to them and forgot about it. But in fact I just let them feed on the dross and filth produced by man’s sin polluting everything it comes in touch with, and after they are so full they are ready to burst, my Son is going to cast them back with such force that they are going to stop the mouth of Hell shut.” Angels sing hallelujahs, but the overall optimistic note is somewhat marred by the fact that immediately after that they start to work on making man’s life on earth more miserable. The sun’s heat is regulated in such a way that it’s either too hot or too cold, the moon and other planets are configured to move in such a way as to produce various unfavourable astrological aspects. Then the axis of the Earth is tilted or the orbit of the Sun, because Milton still can’t make up his mind between the Ptolemaic and the Copernican system. Whichever it may be, the changes are such that from now on we have seasons on the Earth as we know it, while before that it was eternal spring all over the world, except for the poles, where to make up for the cold it was always daylight.

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