In this excerpt, Milton describes the immediate aftermath of the war that was
fought in Heaven, in which Satan and his army were defeated and banished to Hell.
Satan’s fall from Heaven is symbolic of the death of Satan, in the sense that his life, or
existence, as an Angel is now over.
Milton also parallels Satan with animals symbolic of
death, like in Book III, lines 431-435, “As when a Vultur on
ridge the roving Tartar bounds,/Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey/ To gorge the
flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids/On Hills where Flocks are fed”, and in Book IV, lines
183-187, “As when a prowling Wolfe,/Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,/
Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve/In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field
secure,/Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould”.
Satan is compared to a vulture
that devours lambs or newborn children and a wolf that constantly hunts for its prey
where the flocks of sheep are penned, just as Satan plans to corrupt man in the Garden of
Throughout “Paradise Lost”, Milton uses light and dark images to symbolize good
and evil, or loss and gain. In Book IV, Milton notes, “Thus while he spake, each passion
dimm'd his face/Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair,/Which marrd his