Into this wild Abyss/ The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave--/ Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,/ But all these in their pregnant causes mixed/ Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,/ Unless the Almighty Maker them ordain/ His dark materials to create more worlds,--/ Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend/ Stood on the brink of Hell and looked a while,/ Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith/ He had to cross.
Milton’s use of language and imagery are extremely powerful, enduring, and in some aspects, macabre...Milton plays to human nature in his description of the angels. The audience catches a glimpse of themselves in the portrayal of these ethereal figures as they witness some of their own characteristics reflected.
Basically, in Paradise Lost, Milton has taken the first three chapters of Genesis and built a massive 12-chapter poem that fills in the gaps with ideas from other parts of the Bible...For a theology and literature geek like me, Paradise Lost is essential reading. But I think lots of readers would appreciate the richness of Milton’s tale.