Lucifer by Joost van den Vondel

By Joost van den Vondel

An influential and arguable paintings by way of Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679), the colossus of Dutch literature, considered as a huge impact on Milton’s Paradise Lost. An angel returns from Eden, his wings singed via the great thing about Adam and Eve’s international, eager for the pleasures in their flesh.

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Example text

Wide open stands the Heavenly castle’s gate, Of stratagem or treason unafraid. BEELZEBUB: with the blade, If we our purpose strengthen 54 I see the Day-Star’s banner fluttering high – The heavenly order changing by and by! APOLLION: Michael bears God’s blessed Name, Archangel Upon his standard and his flag-staff wears The sun on top! LUCIFER: A name writ large in light? What use is that? Heroic deeds requite, Not pompous words, but courage and resource, Craft, cunning, common-sense – combined with force!

How can we best contrive to gain BELIAL: let’s begin … Weapons we need – with the Army APOLLION: hearts let’s win … BELIAL: digest – APOLLION: you suggest? BELIAL: to protect! Commanders first; the stoutest With something harmless – easy to Indeed, quite so! But what would Our Angels’ Charter, rank and honour Let them all choose a leader they respect. APOLLION: seed Well said, I know no finer stuff or For mutiny: nobles or commoners guaranteed To egg each other on, in factions banding, 57 Determined to preserve their rank and standing – Those legal rights, conferred by the Creator, Before he made Mankind – a good deal later!

In brotherly love, we’ll seek the malcontents And calm restore amid this turbulence. End of Act Two. 63 ACT THREE REBEL and LOYALIST ANGELS debate. Hubbub, groaning, cries of distress: noise gradually subsides. REBEL 1: disappointed? How can one’s hopes so soon be How wrong we were to judge our place, appointed In this most blissful realm bar none – Secure in status, like the Highest One – Changeless, more blest by far than those on Earth, Till Gabriel’s trumpet blast reversed our worth, Proclaiming, from the Golden Gate, God’s dread decree, Depriving Angels of that high degree He once, so bountifully bestowed on us.

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