29 May 2007

So Tell Us, Nell, How Fucked Up Is John Milton?

I know I said I already started Paradise Lost, but today I really started it. It took a while to get into, what with the whole epic poetry aspect and all, but by the time I got to the part I am about to explain to you, I was hooked. Completely.

The premise (for those of you who haven't read it or read it so long ago that it has vanished from memory) is that after Satan and his crew of ragged roustabouts have been banished from Heaven, Satan goes off to find God's new world and corrupt Adam. Basically he just wants to piss God off.

So Satan sets off on his merry way through the fiery pits of Hell and when he gets to the gates he finds them guarded by two creatures. The first is a woman whose body (from the hips down) is a mass of writhing snakes, and the other is a man-thing that is dark and shifty and ill-defined.

They try to stop Satan from leaving and he is about to smote the black shadowy thing when snake lady jumps between them. She then explains to Satan that she is his daughter who sprung from his head (like Athena) back when they were in Heaven together, and apparently Satan was so pleased with her at the time that he knocked her up. Then he fell to Hell, and she was banished, still pregnant, to guard the gates. She gave birth to the shapeless dark thing (who, it turns out, is Death) and when she had him, her insides turned inside out and that's why she's made of snakes now. And since the fall she's been raped (hourly) by Death and forced to give birth (also hourly) to nasty Hell dogs who bite her and bark incessantly. Oh, and also Death eats the dogs babies.

Satan promises her a spot next to him in Heaven when he gets back there and so she unlocks the gates of Hell for him. Since he's her daddy and all.

How can I not love seventeenth century epic poetry with this level of violent hellishness? Dude, this book is fucked up, yo.

1 comment:

Annika said...

Jeez, that's pretty fucked up.