Religion again?

Yet another religious based story my friends. Honestly I am beginning to get tired of them. Throw in a few witches here and there. Take my stories for example, I became very successful and I didn’t always need to use God and the Devil or religion at all. You need variety in your stories to keep the audience interested. Throw in something about your king or queen, they love that. Work with your audience, entertain them!

Milton, your story is very good and entertaining, along with very descriptive. My problem is not with you. My problem is with the whole niche of writers who only wrote about religion. It begins to get boring. Yes everyone who could read at your time was usually religious but mix it u. They’ve heard these stories already. Give them something new, something out of the ordinary.

OED Post

My friends,

While reading the first book of Paradise Lost I came across an intriguing word: Baleful, found in line 56. Upon further investigation into the meaning of this word I found that baleful means malignant, destructive, injurious, and mischievous. Another meaning is subjectively as: Full of pain or suffering, painful; unhappy, wretched, miserable, distressed, sorrowful, or mournful.

What a great word and how well it fits into the content. This book is about humankind’s disobedience towards God. Both meanings of baleful fit into the story of Adam and eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge and disobeying God’s wishes. Adam was definitely destructive and mischievous in that he disobeyed God’s orders. But also he was sorrowful, mournful, and full of pain because as a result of disobeying God he and Eve were sent out of paradise to live in the regular world and compared to paradise that was suffering and terrible.

Dictionary Exercise

Word: Cherub
Part of Speech: Noun

1plural : an order of angels

2plural usually cherubs a: a beautiful usually winged child in painting and sculpture b: an innocent-looking usually chubby and rosy person

While deciding on which word to use in book one the word cherub stuck out for me because I realized it’s used quite a bit. I counted it to be at least four times or more. When I looked the word up I was surprised to find it meant an order of angels. Due to the collection of demon’s recent fall It seems still appropriate to refer to them as “angels”. However the second meaning intrigued me because these angels were by no means innocent. I believe Milton uses this word to remind the reader of the change in status Satan and his followers had just gone through.

OED

Line 53: “Confounded though immortal: but his doom
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him…”

*Discomfited, abashed, put to shame, or mental confusion; confused disordered, etc.
*Applied by way of execration to any person or thing strongly objected to.

Both definitions fit well into this passage. The person that is being talked about is going through some sort of pain and he is being tormented. The first definition is about being discontent and shamed and this could represent the character in the poem. The second definition is a curse on someone or something, and it is possible that the torment the character is going through is from a curse of some sort.

OE exerise

Line 6-8 “Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire that sheperd, who first taught the chosen seed…

Sheperd:a. a man who guards, tends and herds
b. a spiritual guardian or pastor of a “flock”

Thinking of a sheperd as a man who tends to the sheep seemed to be irrelevant to this passage so that is why I decided to look it up. When I did, I found that it could also be a pastor or spiritual guardian. In the context of the line, this makes more sense. It also goes along with the words following…”who first taught the chosen seed.” Since these were such religious times, a priest or pastor would be one of the first to teach you about things including the “chosen seed” which could be the birth of Christ and so forth.

Oxford English Dictionary Exercise

Line 14: “That with no middle flight intends to soar”. Flight: a. The action or manner of flying or moving through the air with or as with wings. b. Power of flying. c. The time when young birds first fly. When read book one, this passage stood out to me. Flight and soar correspond to one another and I wanted to see the relation that flight had to the passage. When looking the word up, I notice that it only imposed its literal meaning and their was any hidden meaning behind it. In relation to the poem, the “flight” that is being taking is man in conjunction with God.

Paradise Lost

While reading this fine poem known as Paradise Lost a particular excerpt that caught my eye. Know this, to find something attractive in such a complex work is far from my desire. Still I had to admire this fragment that went as such: …”But his doom Reserv’d him to more wrath; for now the thought Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes That witness’d huge affliction and dismay Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate At once as far as Angels kenn he views The dismal Situation waste and wilde, A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round…”
What my eyes feel upon in particular was something with which all men struggle. Pride can devour your very soul. But this pride is not of an ordinary suit. No, this is call pride called obdurate is what caught my eye.
To the extend of my knowledge this word comes from a similar form that means to harden. And futher searching revealed obdurate has a couple meanings: hardened in feelings especially against moral or mollifying influence.
Stubburnly persistent in wrong doing
Resistant to persuasion of softening influences
Hard and resistant
All of these ideas seem to go hand in hand with the pride of these foolish men and their refuting of the moral standings I hold dear. I hope God on high may show them the great mercy so few of us truly deserve. Not the company I would search out that is certain.