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ConnieAnnKirk
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HIS DARK MATERIALS & PARADISE LOST -- SPOILERS

[ Edited ]
Here's a thread for those of you who have finished the series and would like to discuss connections between it and Milton's PARADISE LOST. Pullman admits that Milton's epic poem was a major influence on his writing of this series. What connections do you see, and what do you make of the similarities and differences between them?

~ConnieK

Message Edited by ConnieK on 10-01-2007 11:55 AM
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Nadine
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS & PARADISE LOST -- SPOILERS

I might point out to newcomers, that we started a discussion on Paradise Lost as it relates to the series in the Into this Wild Abyss thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=pphdm&thread.id=4&jump=true

There is also a link to the discussion of Paradise Lost in the Epics forum.
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Nadine
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Satan and Lord Asriel

Now that we have moved on into the series I would like to reopen the topic of whether Lord Asriel is Satan from Paradise Lost. Here was my original post:

----------------------------------
So much of The Golden Compass is preparation for the series rather than heart of the discussion that it is most difficult to project the influential resources in terms of the story so far. As Pulman said in his Paradise Lost, it was the atmosphere and landscape that attracted his interest before the theme of the Fall. As a read the end of The Golden Compass it struck me that Lord Asriel was the counterpart of Satan and probably more so as the Satan of the first two books of Paradise Lost.

This summary (and note it is a two page summary) might provide some insight into Milton's Satan as his attitude and actions might be parallel to Load Asriel.

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/Paradise-Lost.id-140,pageNum-48.html
--------------------------------------

As we begin SK there seems to be a stronger case for Lord Asriel being Satan. It is becoming apparent that Lord Asriel is intending to wage war against the Authority and is amassing a great army to do it. He also seem to have Satan's pride in that he will only take on a foe he deems worthy of him. As Thorold pointed out, Lord Asriel would consider the Church as an adversary too weak and not worth his effort (Pg 45-47, SK). This is also the first time we find out that there are angels and they will be involved.
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS & PARADISE LOST -- SPOILERS

[ Edited ]
Good point, Nadine. I think it might be more useful to be able to discuss the links with spoilers, rather than limiting discussion to GC only, so I'm going to join the threads here.

ED. Sorry that it looks like these threads joined out of order! Hopefully, readers will be able to follow the discussion if they read all the way through so far...

~ConnieK



Nadine wrote:
I might point out to newcomers, that we started a discussion on Paradise Lost as it relates to the series in the Into this Wild Abyss thread.



Message Edited by ConnieK on 10-05-2007 09:04 AM
~ConnieAnnKirk




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Discussion Topic: "Into this Wild Abyss"

One of the inspirations for the trilogy is revealed by the epigraph to The Golden Compass, a passage from Milton's epic Paradise Lost, in which Satan looks out over the chaotic void that will soon be the site of creation. In The Golden Compass, how do you see Milton's influence on Pullman's world? What other literary influences did you notice in this first volume?

~ConnieAnnKirk




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BarbaraN
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Paradise Lost Resourses

Last spring the Epic Book Club did a three month study of Paradise Lost. Those of you interested in this dimension to HDM might want to scan over some of the discussions that took place. They did it book by book so it should be easy to select what is relevant to your own reading and study. Laurel, the moderator, did suggest some "tools" including publication editions of the poem that might be useful and they are at this address:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=U1001&thread.id=4&jump=true

Barbara & Elberon
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Re: Paradise Lost Resourses

Barbara--Thank you for this!

~ConnieK



BarbaraN wrote:
Last spring the Epic Book Club did a three month study of Paradise Lost. Those of you interested in this dimension to HDM might want to scan over some of the discussions that took place. They did it book by book so it should be easy to select what is relevant to your own reading and study. Laurel, the moderator, did suggest some "tools" including publication editions of the poem that might be useful and they are at this address:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=U1001&thread.id=4&jump=true

Barbara & Elberon


~ConnieAnnKirk




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Nadine
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Re: Discussion Topic: "Into this Wild Abyss"

Philip Pullman on Paradise Lost

I was just reading Philip Pullman's introduction to Paradise Lost and thought it was most interesting and worth some discussion in this group. I will quote directly from his introduction:

In reference to Paradise Lost and his own HDM: "So it was the landscape, the atmosphere, that was my starting point. But as the narrative began to form itself on the page, I found that--perhaps drawn by the gravitational attraction of a much greater mass--I was beginning to tell the same story, too....Inevitably, the storyteller's own preoccupations become visible in the emphasis and the colouring they give to this or that aspect of the tale. I found that in my interest was most vividly caught by the meaning of the temptation-and-fall theme. Suppose that the prohibition on the knowledge of good and evil were an expression of jealous cruelty, and the gaining of such knowledge and act of virtue? Suppose the Fall should be celebrated and not deplored? As I played with it, my story resolved itself into and account of the necessity of growing up, and a refusal to lament the loss of innocence. The true end of human life, I found myself saying, was not redemption by a nonexistent Son of God, but the gaining and transmission of wisdom. Innocence is not wise, and wisdom cannot be innocent, and if we are going to do any good in the world, we have to leave childhood behind.

That is how one modern writer told this great story. It will certainly be told many times again, and each time differently. I think it is the central story of our lives, the story that more than any other tells us what it means to be human."
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Nadine
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Re: Discussion Topic: "Into this Wild Abyss"

Those of you who might not have the time to fully assimilate Paradise Lost might these SparkNotes a good way to become familiar with the various sections of Paradise Lost, the characters, and symbols that might have some relevance with HDM. It will also help if you want to be directed to certain relevant sections for your own in depth reading:

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/paradiselost/index.html
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Nadine
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Is Lord Asriel Satan?

So much of The Golden Compass is preparation for the series rather than heart of the discussion that it is most difficult to project the influential resources in terms of the story so far. As Pulman said in his Paradise Lost, it was the atmosphere and landscape that attracted his interest before the theme of the Fall. As a read the end of The Golden Compass it struck me that Lord Asriel was the counterpart of Satan and probably more so as the Satan of the first two books of Paradise Lost.

This summary (and note it is a two page summary) might provide some insight into Milton's Satan as his attitude and actions might be parallel to Load Asriel.

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/Paradise-Lost.id-140,pageNum-48.html
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Nadine
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Re: Discussion Topic: "Into this Wild Abyss"

As Pulman said in his introduction to Paradise Lost, the landscape and atmosphere were his starting point in Paradise Lost.

Here is an excerpt from his introduction to Book 2 of Paradise Lost:

"Satan sets off alone to undertake his great task, and the rest of the book concerns his journey to the gates of hell and out into the chaos beyond, and ends with a glimpse of the distant new world hanging in a golden chain, no bigger than a star beside the moon, beautiful and ignorant of the malice moving towards it...[a] magical cliffhanger of and ending..."

This is the ending of Book 2 of Paradise Lost and I can see how this inspired his ending to The Golden Compass:


Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf
Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length
From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe
Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse [ 1030 ]
With easie intercourse pass to and fro
To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
God and good Angels guard by special grace.
But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n [ 1035 ]
Shoots farr into the bosom of dim Night
A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
Her fardest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a brok'n foe
With tumult less and with less hostile din, [ 1040 ]
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light
And like a weather-beaten Vessel holds
Gladly the Port, though Shrouds and Tackle torn;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling Air, [ 1045 ]
Weighs his spread wings, at leasure to behold
Farr off th' Empyreal Heav'n, extended wide
In circuit, undetermind square or round,
With Opal Towrs and Battlements adorn'd
Of living Saphire, once his native Seat; [ 1050 ]
And fast by hanging in a golden Chain
This pendant world, in bigness as a Starr
Of smallest Magnitude close by the Moon.
Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
Accurst, and in a cursed hour he hies. [ 1055 ]

Notes:

Th'utmost Orbe. - The outermost circle of Earth is the orbit of the moon.
this frail World. - Earth.
pendant world.- Not only the earth, but the entire created universe
------------------------------

This is good stuff and I can see how this inspired Pulman's ending to The Golden Compass. I don't know if this is relevant or not but it is interesting to note that Satan was followed by his daughter Sin and her child Death.

The ending of The Golden Compass is a cliffhanger and it is hard not to move on to the next book.
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS & PARADISE LOST -- SPOILERS

[ Edited ]
Readers might like to know that David Colbert's book, THE MAGICAL WORLDS OF PHILIP PULLMAN, discusses this very topic in Chapter 1, "What Does the Trilogy Owe to PARADISE LOST?" David is a regular contributor to this board, so please feel free to leave questions for him here or in the thread specifically about his book.

Here's a quote from David's discussion:

"...reading PARADISE LOST isn't a requirement for understanding HIS DARK MATERIALS. And though it can be fun to find allusions to it in HIS DARK MATERIALS, they don't add up to a secret decoder book. What's interesting is the general influence of Milton on Pullman, and the way HIS DARK MATERIALS fits into centuries of literature and art inspired by PARADISE LOST" (7).

~ConnieK

Message Edited by ConnieK on 10-10-2007 02:32 PM
~ConnieAnnKirk




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