Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

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Disobedience and Exile
an Analysis of Satan
from Milton’s Paradise Lost
John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, has been the subject of criticism and interpretation through many years; these interpretations concur in that Adam and Eve are the sufferers of the poem, and it is their blight to lose Paradise because of their disobedience; however, their exile is merely a plight brought by Satan, and it is he who suffers exile before any others. Satan changes from Book I of the poem to Book XII; his introduction is heroic and grand, appearing as a hero rebelling against an unjust God. But by the finalization of Milton’s poem, Satan is a burnt shell of himself and, though ruler of Pandemonium, he sits in a throne in the lowest pit from God’s light. Satan’s exile brings forth the salvation of mankind and his own regressive transformation; tying in with the theme of disobedience, Satan’s exile gives light to the entirety of Milton’s poem.
After Milton 's Prologue, in which he declares he will speak “Of Man’s first Disobedience,”(I, 1) Milton begins his story In Medias Res. He leaves only Satan’s side of the story as the reader 's first interpretation of the events. As the fallen Angels awake in the lake of fire, Satan beings his heroic speech; he, being the Angel closest to God, is looked as the leader of the fallen rebels. In his speech, Satan speaks of the tyranny of God and how it is “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”(I, 263) The disobedience Milton mentions is that of the Humans Adam and Eve; however, Satan is also disobedient in that he rebelled, not because of God’s tyranny, but because Satan wants what he wants rather than what God wants. In the Demon’s debate about their course of action, Milton describes their ...


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...tly; whether inflicted by himself or not, unbeknownst to Satan, his exile provides the much needed drive for the shape of Milton’s poem. In his exile Satan is regressed from a high Angel to a lowly mongrel, alienated from even the Demons who accompany him; his disobedience, and temptation of disobedience, help in connecting Milton’s work as a whole, and because of his envious quarrel with God, he unknowingly gives God a way to save Mankind-through the sacrifice of the Son. Once Mankind places itself aside, even in a deeply religious text, the revelation that others suffer suddenly appears; perhaps man is victim to his own arrogance, just as much as Satan was victim to his own jealousy.











Works Cited
Milton, John, and Merritt Y. Hughes. Paradise Lost. New York: Odyssey,
1935. Print.
"Paradise Lost." Major Themes in. Cliffnotes, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015



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