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Paradise Lost, Book Six
(John Milton)

In Book VI, Milton launches into an in-depth description of the battle of God and Lucifer. Raphael is still recounting the battle to Adam who has some doubts and confusions regarding free will and the fact that he can choose the path that he wishes to take. Raphael continues from where Abdiel has decided that his loyalties lie with God and has refused to be part of Lucifer?s army. God praises Abdiel and appoints Michael and Gabriel as the leading commanders in His army. Milton shows that God is a fair and just God, permitting the strength of his army to be that of the strength of Lucifer?s.

Initially the angels gain the advantage, but the next day they are not so lucky. This is because of the cannon that Lucifer?s army has created. In response to the cannon, the angels use natural elements like mountains and hills, burying their opponents and the cannon. But by now, God is fearful for the destruction of Heaven since the rebel angels have also taken to throwing mountains and other parts of the landscape. At this point, the Son of God takes on the entire rebel army single handedly in his chariot and forces them towards the opening that leads to Hell.

Thus, as Raphael explains to Adam about the concept and benefits of free will, we are also enlightened about this gift of God to Man. Raphael warns Adam, telling him that Satan is jealous of both him (Adam) and God and is willing to go to great lengths to get his way and corrupt Adam. Since Adam can choose to yield to temptation, there is not much else Raphael can do but warn him and uses the fate of the rebel angels as an example of the punishment that God can mete out if faced with disobedience.

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