Milton's Paradise Lost: "Plot" vs. "Narration" Order of Episodes

        Episodes in black occur in Genesis, if they involve Adam and Eve, in the Gospels if they are Raphael's forecasted events in the life of Jesus, or in later Christian theologians' "mirash" or "glossing" of metaphysical events such as Jesus' liberation from Hell of Adam, Moses, and other pre-Christian sacred ancestors (the "Harrowing" or sorting out of Hell).  Episodes in blue are Milton's invention or borrowing from later biblical tradition, etc.  In the narration order, passages in red are narrated summaries of events in flashback (Books 4-8) or "flash-forward" (Books 11-12), while time stands still in the frame narrative of the Fallen Angels and Eden.

The Plot of Paradise Lost


  1. Creation of the Universe and Eden
  2. Rebellion of the Fallen Angels
  3. War in Heaven
  4. Fall of Rebel Angels (Revelations)
  5. Satan’s Flight to Eden & 1st Temptation of Eve (in dreams)
  6. Raphael’s Teaching of Adam about the Rebellion and War
  7. Satan’s Temptation of Eve and Eve’s of Adam—The Fall from Grace
  8. Michael’s Teaching of Adam about Future History to Incarnation
  9. Expulsion from Eden
  10. Incarnation of Jesus
  11. Crucifixion of Jesus
  12. Resurrection of Jesus and “Harrowing of Hell” to Save OT Patriarchs like Adam
  13. Eschaton—the Return of Jesus, End of Time, Sin, Death, and Satan, Remaking Heavens and Earth Perfected


The Narration of Paradise Lost


Book 1 & 2: Fallen Angels’ State in Hell, Debate, and Resolution to Attempt Destruction of Humanity

Book 2: Satan’s Flight to Eden

Book 3: The Father in Heaven Foresees the Fall and The Son in Heaven Volunteers to Sacrifice Himself to Redeem Humanity

Book 4: & 1st Temptation of Eve (in dreams) but Angel Guards Frustrate Satan.

Books 4-8: Raphael Tells Adam of Angelic Rebellion, Fall of Angels, and Danger to Adam and Eve, and Eden’s Creation.

Book 9: Satan’s Second Temptation of Eve, and Eve’s of Adam—The Fall from Grace

Book 10: God Detects the Fall, Judges Adam and Eve.

Books 11-12: Michael Tells Adam of Future History from Incarnation to Eschaton While Eve Is Taught in Dreams; Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden