The mystery, whose action unfolds in the “locality near paradise,” opens the scene of the ascension of prayer to Jehovah. All the few “mankind” participate in the prayer: the Adam and Eve, their sons Cain and Abel, the daughters of Hell and Sella, and the children conceived by the daughters of Adam from his sons, expelled from the heavenly tabernacles in the recompense for sin. Against the unreasoning piety of parents and brother, submissively accepting the punishing hand of the Lord, Cain instinctively emerges, embodying unceasing questioning, doubt, an unquenchable desire in everything “to get to the heart of it.” He is quite sincere, confessing: “I could never agree with what I saw, with what they tell me.” He
Adam, Eve and their children retire to day labor. Meditating Cain remains alone. He feels the approach of a certain higher being, which is “greater than the angels” that Cain has seen in the neighborhood of paradise. This is Lucifer.
In the interpretation of the image of the eternal opponent of the eternal, lowered from heavenly heights and doomed to unceasing wanderings in space, but unbroken by spirit, the audacious innovation of Byron, the artist and thinker, was more clearly manifested. Unlike most writers who somehow dealt with this topic, the author of the mystery does not show the slightest bias; In his vision of Satan there is no shadow of canonical stereotyping. It is symptomatic that Lucifer Byron not so much gives direct answers to the questions that his Cain and Ada return for some reason, as inspires them with the idea of the imperative necessity of eternal questioning, about the salvation of knowledge as the key to the immortality of the spirit. By all his behavior, he refutes the current idea of himself as a low, self-serving tempter. And Cain can not not believe him,
Touched by cursed questions about the mystery
Byron’s inexhaustible romantic fantasy finds expression in the second act of the mystery, unfolding in the “abyss of space.” Like Dante and Virgil in the “Divine Comedy”, only in a specific romantic rhythm and imagery, partly inspired by the majesty of the Miltonian baroque poetics, they pass past and future worlds, compared to which the Earth is negligible, and the coveted Eden is smaller than a pinhead. Cain is shown the immensity of space and the infinity of time. Lucifer calmly comments: “There is a lot that will never End… Only time and space are unchanged, Although the changes only to dust Bring death.”
On an innumerable set of planets flying in front of their eyes, the bewildered Cain learns, there are also his edemes, and even people “or beings that are higher than them.” But his curiosity is unquenchable, and Lucifer shows him the gloomy realm of death. “How majestic are the shadows that are hovering around me!” – Cain exclaims, and Satan reveals to him that before Adam the earth was inhabited by higher beings, unlike humans, but by the power of reason they greatly exceeded them. Jehovah finished them “by mixing the elements that transformed the Face of the Earth.” Before them float the ghosts of leviathans and the shadow of beings that have no name. Their spectacle is majestic and mournful, but, according to Lucifer, it is incomparable with the calamities and catastrophes that are still coming, which are destined to fall to the share of the Adam family. Cain is saddened: he loves Hell, he loves Abel and can not accept the fact that all of them, all things are subject to death. And he again asks Satan to reveal to him the secret of death. He replies that the son of Adam is not yet able to comprehend it; one has only to realize that death is the gate. “Cain, but does not death open them? / Lucifer.” Death is the Antechamber. / Cain. “So, death leads to something sensible! Now I’m less afraid of it.”
Cain realizes that his “guide” in innumerable worlds, lost in time and space, is not inferior to the power of the all-powerful Jehovah. But is not Lucifer himself the instrument of God?
And then Satan explodes. No and once again no: “He is my winner, but not the lord… … The great merciless struggle will not cease, Until Adonai and his enemy perish!” And goodbye gives him advice: “A good gift alone gave you the tree of knowledge – your mind: So do not let it tremble Tyrant’s menacing words, forcing you to believe Against both feeling and reason. Forbear and thoughts – build in yourself the inner world, so that external see: Break in yourself the earthly nature And join the spiritual principle! ”
Only the immortality of the spirit can prevent the omnipotence of the mortal portion allotted to Jehovah by people-such is the farewell lesson,
Returning to relatives, Cain finds them at work: they prepare altars for the sacrifice. But the sacrifice is a sign of humility before the lot, prepared in advance and unfair; against him, and all the passionate, indomitable nature of Cain rises: “I said, What is better to die than to live in torments And bequeath them to children!”
A gentle, loving Ada, the mother of his child, recoils from him in horror; gently, but persistently urges him to jointly sacrifice Abel.
And here for the first time he reminds of himself not present on the stage, but invariably reminiscent of himself the character of the mystery – God: he favorably accepts the slaughtered younger brother, the cattleman Abel, the lamb and far spreads the fruits of the soil – the victim of the farmer Cain. Abel calmly advises his brother to bring new gifts to the altar on the altar. “Cain.” So his joy is Chad of the altars, smoking from blood, The suffering of the bleating queens, the torments of Their offspring, dying under your knife The pious! Get out of the way! ”
Abel stands on his own, saying: “God is dearer to me than life.” In a fit of uncontrollable anger, Cain strikes him in the temple of the beast, seized from the altar.
Abel is dying. To the moaning of slowly realized Adam’s eldest son, his relatives come running. Adam is confused; Eve curses him. Ada shyly tries to protect her brother and wife. Adam commands him to leave these places forever.
With Cain, only Ada remains. But before starting to drag on the myriad of dull days, the fratricide will have to go through another test. The angel of the Lord descends from heaven and imposes an indelible stamp on his brow.
They are going to a difficult journey. Their place is in a bleak desert, “east of paradise”. Crushed by his crime, Cain does not so much fulfill the will of his father and Jehovah, as he himself measures punishment for sin. But the spirit of protest, doubt, questioning does not fade in his soul: “Cain.” “Oh, Abel, Abel! / Ada.” Peace be upon him / Cain. “And to me?”
These words complete Byron’s play, transforming the mystery of mortal sin into an exciting mystery of irreconcilable battle against God.