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  1. #1
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Please rewrite the poetic line in plain English

    Belial came last; than whom a spirit more lewd
    Fell not from Heaven

    -- Milton, Paradise Lost

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Does it mean "Belial fell last from Heaven, no spirit who was more lewd than (Belial) fell from Heaven"?

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Please rewrite the poetic line in plain English

    Near enough. (Belial = Satan).

    'Satan was the last to fall from Heaven. He was the dirtiest-minded spirit of them all.'

    Rover

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Please rewrite the poetic line in plain English

    ... except that perhaps 'fell' is a bit too literal. He was cast out of Heaven in what is commonly known as 'The Fall'. And 'lewd' is more pregnant with meaning in that context than just 'lewd'. Benny Hill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia was lewd; but as Milton goes on to say
    BELIAL came last, then* whom a Spirit more lewd
    Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to** love
    Vice for it self:
    *When Milton was writing, the conventional distinction between 'than' and 'then' (especially in contexts where either would be reduced to /ǝn/ ) was often ignored
    ** The syntax here is very compressed. It seems to mean 'and no other spirit [who fell from Heaven] was so depraved as to love wickedness for its own sake.'

    b

  4. #4
    NewHopeR is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Please rewrite the poetic line in plain English

    Cool.
    Thank you both.

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