Although lacking the epic power of the first books of Paradise Lost. Books XI and XII have significant merits. By panoramic visions and narration, Michael not only shows Adam the consequences of his disobedience, but teaches him how to live in a world unparadised; it is not the biblical events but their effect on the mind and heart of Adam that is noteworthy. Michael's terse counsels and Adam's references to him as guide, seer, and teacher emphasize the instructional importance of the books. Rhetorical figures, particularly anadiplosis, polyptoton, climax, ploce, anaphora, and epanalepsis, heighten lessons concerning aspects of life: war, peace; famine, plenty; freedom, slavery; thought and structure complement each other. Effectively employing alliteration, onomatopoeia, and assonance, Milton combines sound and sense with purpose and structure. Descriptions rich with metaphors, stated or implied, and references to color reveal the author's unimpaired aural and visual imagination.

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