"The terms place and space do not signify something different from
the body that is said to be in a place; they merely mean its size, shape,
and position relative to other bodies.... [N]o object has a permanent
place except by the determination of our thought."
~Descartes Philosophical Writings
(Space and Place in "Paradise lost" by John Gillies)
The above is the popular thought regarding space and place during Milton's day. Given all the talk about where the Earth was in comparison with the Sun and the rest of the universe, it is unsurprising that Descartes and other philosophers would hold this view. After all, Copernicus and Galileo paved the way for new modes of thinking about our place in the universe and our relation to it. But this isn't the kind of philosophy Milton uses in Paradise Lost.
So why did Milton choose to go against the grain? Does having Heaven, Earth, and Hell in unmovable places make a significant difference to the book? I think it's easier to tell an epic tale where people are moving when one has unmovable places in space. But did Milton have another reason? What do you all think?