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Paradise Lost | Study Guide

John Milton

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Book 7

Kristen Over, Associate Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Book 7 of John Milton's book Paradise Lost.

Paradise Lost | Book 7 | Summary



Milton invokes the muse Urania, possibly different from the "heavenly muse" he invoked in Book 1, to help him continue his story. Back in Eden, Raphael tells Adam about God's creation of the new world and that he created it as a reaction against Satan's rebellion. He decided to populate the new world with mankind, a new kind of being that, unlike the angels, has to grow in goodness and virtue over time in order to enter Heaven. God's aim was to unite the new world with Heaven through mankind's obedience and love.


Milton invokes Urania, the Greek Muse of Astronomy, and as Raphael begins to tell the tale of the creation of Earth, her invocation seems appropriate. Milton's use of biblical references in telling the story of the creation of Earth reflects the seriousness with which he wants readers to consider his story. Readers in Milton's time would have been very familiar with this section of the Bible, known as Genesis, and the technique of incorporating familiar biblical details makes Milton's account seem more credible.

This Book also serves to show Adam's innate curiosity about his origins and his uncertainty about what God allows him to know. This curiosity foreshadows Adam's temptation to know more through eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

Although the Bible says that God created Earth, Milton places an emphasis on the actions of the Son, who is another dimension of God through which God carries out actions. Even though Milton depicts them as separate characters, their actions and thoughts come from the same being.

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