Hell. The underworld into which the rebel angels fall in book 1 of Milton’s epic is the first fully visualized scene. After describing the precipitous fall of Satan and his cohorts amid the chaos of floods and whirlwinds, Milton has the demons remark on how different this place appears in comparison with the Heaven from which they have come. Just as Heaven is characterized mostly by light in book 3, Hell is known by its dimness. Even flames give forth no light, and there is no land, though Milton teases the reader’s visual imagination by speaking of lakes of liquid fire and lands of solid fire. Specific locations within Hell include its capital, Pandemonium; the large gates through which Satan flies; and the Paradise of Fools, a borderland where foolish monks believe, in their vanity, that they are in Heaven.
Pandemonium. Word coined by Milton to describe the capital of Hell in this epic that now has a broader meaning. Milton invented the word by analogy with the Pantheon, the temple of all gods in ancient Rome. The Pandemonium is thus an infernal temple honoring all demons. Milton describes it near the end of book 1, and the first half of book 2 takes place there as well. As in Milton’s other place descriptions in Paradise Lost, the emphasis is on the spaciousness of this capital of Hell, the throngs of demons filling the hall, the wide gates and porches. Yet, since Milton is using this spaciousness as an emblem of greatness, he effects a sudden change in point of view at the end of book 1, making the demons, who seemed gigantic, become minuscule. The change is due to their fall, which has just taken place. In Pandemonium, as elsewhere in Milton’s cosmology, place has moral significance.
Garden of Eden. Biblical site in which the bulk of Paradise Lost after book 3 takes place. For Adam and Eve, the physical beauty of paradise represents the unfallen world. They are in harmony with all creatures, and they receive all the food they need without effort. To Satan, however, the place represents a painful reminder of all the joys he and the other fallen angels have lost forever. His first reflection on the sight of Eden, near the beginning of book 4, is a curse hurled at the Sun for showing him its beauties. There, it becomes clear that place is a function of one’s moral state. For example, Satan, though in paradise, brings his Hell with him because of his unrepentant, fallen nature. Conversely, at the end of the epic, Adam and Eve, though banished from paradise, carry a small reflection of it with them in their love for each other.