Attention

Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang’d by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.

— John Milton (1608-74)Paradise Lost, I:242ff.

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7 comments
  1. Justuju said:

    I don’t quite understand this part, ‘And what I should be, all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater?’. Can you explain?

  2. Unawoken said:

    Justuju,
    Satan and God have just fought a battle, and Satan has been revealed God’s omnipotence. Satan has been cast to hell by God. If Satan were to be in heaven, he would be still less than God, whose special powers (thunder) make him greater.

  3. Justuju said:

    Thank you!

  4. rendezvous said:

    specially like the lines..

    The mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.

    To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
    Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.

  5. Neena Taskar said:

    It is funny how all the most imaginative work in poetry is in describing Hell, when it comes to Heaven people are at a loss for words!

  6. Unawoken said:

    Neena, Interesting point 🙂

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