Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost ' Essay

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Paradise Lost is John Milton’s epic poem, written during the 17th century. Originally separated into 10 books, and later into twelve books, it concerns the Biblical story of the fall of man. Milton’s intent was stated in the first book as a means to justify God’s actions to man. Through the book, the reader alternates from focusing on Satan and the others demons in Hell, God and the Son and angles in heaven, and of Adam and Eve on Earth. Satan is the first of the major characters introduced, formally called Lucifer. He is the leader of the failed rebellion against God. Satan is arrogant, proud, but incredibly charismatic as his persuasive powers are demonstrated throughout the book. He is cunning, deceptive, and compelling. Satan is the most well-developed character in Paradise Lost because of his moving character, understandability, and his inconsistency, making him almost forgivable and able to be empathized with.
During many of his speeches and soliloquies, Satan’s statements are often self-deluding and inconsistent, making him far from perfect. An example of these self-delusions occurs around line 44 in chapter IV, “whom he created what I was / In that bright eminence, and with his good / Upbraided none, nor was his service hard” (4.44-45). Satan acknowledges that God created him in his holy light and is aware that he received strength from Him. However, as Satan says, “yet all his good proved ill in me, / and wrought but malice” he seems to feel as though God has imposed ill will upon him (4.48-49). Satan contradicts himself as he uses “good” as a description of God while feeling as though He acted with “malice.” His anger and pride narrow his mind, making him unable to see that his disgust with God comes only from himself....


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...on of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs (1.209-213).
Satan believes that his powers are greater than God’s who is in control with a superior plan. He is unable to understand God’s power, similarly to mankind’s inability to comprehend the power of God. These subtle connections allow the reader to empathize with the devil, but also gain a better understanding of mankind and Milton’s way of justifying God’s actions to man.
Because of Satan’s human-like qualities and his similarities with mankind, he becomes a relatable and a well-developed character. Though appearing to be a hero early on, Milton uses the reader’s likeliness to empathize with Satan to his advantage in order to demonstrate the parallels between mankind and the fallen angels. Satan’s pride, jealousy, and stubbornness reflect human errors because of their separation from God.

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