Devil Country

Norwegian flag
What a dubious place I live in! Did you know that John Milton associated Norway with Satan in Paradise Lost? When Satan is lying upon the Burning Lake, Milton compares him to a whale deceiving men into thinking it is an island:
“…that Sea-beast
Leviathan which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th’Ocean stream:
Him haply slumbering on the Norway foam”
(Book I lines 200-203)
Milton here is only hinting at the shadiness, the very fishiness, of Norway. He gets much more explicit later on.

He compares Satan’s spear to a ship’s mast made from
“…the tallest pine,
Hewn on Norwegian hills…”
(Book I lines 292-3)
In case there’s any doubt that Norway here is just a simile or a metaphor for evil doings, Milton was sure to inform us that in the first revolt in Heaven, Satan drew his legions to “the Quarters of the North” (Book V line 689).
Milton’s apparent prejudice has its source in Biblical writ. In Isaiah 14:12-13, Lucifer says in his heart, “I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North.”
And we know where the Mount of Assembly is, don’t we? Not very far from where I’m sitting now!

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.