The Archangel Gabriel

Prayers to the Archangel Gabriel

Milton gives priority to the role of Satan and his cohorts in Books I and II of Paradise Lost, but establishes Archangel Michael as a major alternative power thereafter in Books IV, XI, and XII. Yet the Archangel Gabriel aids Michael in the War in Heaven, Book VI, and he guards Eden in Book IV, though this protection ultimately proves fruitless. Even an angel cannot overcome Satan. Nevertheless, Gabriel remains an attractive and powerful figure in the human imagination. In Islam, Gabriel was the medium through whom God revealed the Koran to Mohamed, and sent his messages to most other prophets. For Christians his role is best illustrated in the Annunciation of the future birth of Christ to the Virgin Mary, a key element in Christmas celebrations, and as the trumpeter announcing the Last Judgment. This video is itself partly a religious celebration of Gabriel's continuing rapport with humanity, but it also illustrates the kind of images Milton would have had in mind while developing his characterization of Gabriel.


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