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Page 3. " Of man's first disobedience "

Line 1. Adam and Eve's disobedience of God when picking the apple from the tree of knowledge. God's punishment, of expelling the couple from Eden, acts as the basis for Milton's mission to 'justify the ways of God to men' (Line 26). This biblical event is found in Genesis 3:22-24 'So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken'. For other biblical references search TheBibleGateway.


Page 3. " Sing heavenly muse "

The muses were spirits in Greek mythology that were said to inspire creativity and wisdom. Here, Milton refers to Urania, the muse of astronomy. This is just one of many allusions to classical mythology in Paradise Lost. 

There are nine muses and each is associated with her own art form:  

Calliope - Epic poetry

Clio - History

Erato - Lyric poetry

Euterpe - Music

Melpomene - Tragedy

Polyhymnia - Choral poetry

Terpsichore - Dance

Thalia - Comedy

Urania - Astronomy





Page 4. " on the secret top / Of Oreb, or of Sinai "

Line 6-7. Refers to Mount Horeb and Mount Sinai where God was said to have delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses; according to Deuteronomy and Exodus respectively. Mount Horeb's location is unknown. Mount Sinai is situated in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt and rises 7,497 feet above sea level. At the summit there is a mosque and a Greek Orthodox chapel which supposedly contains the Tablets of the Law.