Educational Conversations In Paradise Lost

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Different Educational Conversations
Education takes many different forms. It does not always have to involve an academic setting with a person who takes the role of a dominant teacher passing on known information to students that are not knowledgeable in the subject. Education also take place in a peer-to-peer conversation, in other words among those with equal amounts of knowledge who exchange ideas and/or perspectives. Education, in my theory, is when people become present in each other’s worlds, not when individuals are forcibly presented with another’s point of view. In Paradise Lost, I will focus on a passage from Book Four, 4.950-4.961, and a passage from Book Five, 5.524-5.535, spoken by Gabriel and Raphael respectively. In these two passages, the angels are both having an educational conversation; while they approach their respective audience differently, both prevent their audience
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For instance, in the first passage, Gabriel insults Satan for his claim of being faithful. Gabriel insults Satan for his supposed loyalty and faithfulness to his fallen angels when he did not remain loyal to God. Gabriel calls him a “hypocrite” (4.957) for his being unfaithful to God while seeing and himself as someone who is faithful and trustworthy relative to his crew. The word “obedience” (4.955) and “faithfulness” (4.951) appeals throughout this passage. According to the Oxford [Old] English Dictionary, obedience is “the action or fact of yielding to some actuating force or agency.”2 This word applies to Gabriel’s relationship with God. He seems as the agent of God in insulting Satan for his disobedience to God. Gabriel continues to reveal his view of Satan’s actions by saying, “And thou, sly hypocrite” (4.457), not in an attempt to provide him with new knowledge, but to shame him for the unfaithful actions he has taken from Gabriel’s perspective. We see this when he

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