Paradise Lost- Speech of Belial
Here is the speech, rewritten in modern prose (lines 108- 225):
On the other side of the hall, Belial stood up.He was a graceful and fair person and was high in dignity.He was an incredible rhetorician by and could sway the minds of people through his speech.
“I agree with you, Moloch, and I hate the beings of heaven, also.If we do go to battle, we must realize that there are many problems.The towers of heaven are guarded with armed watch and there is almost no way we can get through them.If we surprise them at night and cover Heaven’s purity with the blackness of hell we may have a small chance of making it past the tower.Even if we did that, God would sit on his throne unmoved.If we go up against Heaven, it will be the end of us.But, if we are good, our angry enemy, God, may have pity upon us and think that we have learned our lesson and he may take it easy on us.Moloch, you said that nothing is worse than sitting down here in Hell and that we should attack Heaven for that reason.I can surely think of some things worse.Do you think that sitting here with each other, talking to each other, and being armed is the worst thing possible?I think not.What about when we laid in the burning lake?That surely was worse.What if the air that keeps those hot fires going blew seven times as hard and covered us in flames?Or if, from above, vengeance’s arm should come down upon us and plague us?What if all of the holes in Hell were opened and fire shot out of every crevasse?War, I think, is a bad idea.How can we overthrow the being who knows everything and sees everything?All of our motions would be in vain.Should we live this life and suffer here?My advice is to stay here.These conditions are better than what could happen.If we stay here, our supreme enemy may remit his anger and we may then not be punished so severely and these raging fires may slacken.Future days may bring something good and we should wait and find out what that may be.”
Belial’s speech is logical and is needed in this book.It shows the point of view that not everyone wants to go back and face God.Belial begins his speech by noting and agreeing with Moloch’s speech but looking with the problems.This was smart because Belial had a different view but didn’t just come out of the blocks and say, “Moloch, you are wrong.Here is what we should do.”He accepted Moloch’s speech and then slowly proved it to be wrong and unwise.This is one of the reasons he was such a great speaker.He appeals to the warriors because he does not put out the idea of war.He just doesn’t think it would be a smart idea to go to war right now.He says that they should wait and see God and Heaven’s reaction to their good behavior and then decide if they should attack Heaven or not.By making this speech, Belial tries to convince the ones that want to fight to wait a while and he appeals to those who do not want to fight or are unsure about the war.The speech was successful except for one part.Satan has said that he will never apologize to God and be subservient again.In his speech, Belial says that if they apologize to God and stay on good behavior, then they may be forgiven and their punishment may be slackened.This goes against what Satan wants to do and that is not good.That was the one problem with the speech.Belial was a smart, incredibly rhetorical man who knew what would be best for Hell and wanted to try to make sure everything went the best way possible.If only Hell had listened.