When Paradise Lost begins, the vainglorious actions of Satan have resulted in his removal from heaven and placed him on the path to exact revenge against those who have done so. Though, the reader is hardly able to experience any distaste when reading about this man who opposes the consented force of good. He is are charming, dark, fanatical and desperate in his attempts. It is from these characteristics, that the reader may be swayed into viewing him as the protagonist (or even the hero) of the tale. Even C.S.
This aspect of Satan serves as the final stage in a reader’s transition from viewing Satan as the brave leader of a just cause, to viewing him as a lowly coward. Thus, when the character of Satan is traced through its evolution of Paradise Lost, the reason behind the order of development can be seen. Milton’s desire to create a strong hatred of Satan is achieved best by highlighting Satan’s good points first. Then, when Satan’s real character begins to emerge, the reader is appalled at the actions of their “hero”, causing them to dislike him more than had he originally been a bad character. The reader’s distaste for Satan is strengthened by Satan’s shift in motives.
In book II of Paradise Lost, Milton portrays Satan as a rebel who exhibits certain heroic qualities, but who turns out not to be a hero. Milton's introduction of Satan shows the reader how significant Satan is to Paradise Lost. He uses Satan's heroic qualities to his followers, and his ability to corrupt to show the thin line between good and evil. Satan was one of the highest angels in Heaven and was know as Lucifer, meaning, light bearer. This shows he was once a good angel.
These instances displays Milton's portrayal of Satan’s ineptitude to win against God’s supremacy. Although Satan is a dark figure that everyone wants to escape from, Milton maximizes the devil’s qualities to portray him as the oppressed fighter for freedom. Milton also humanizes Satan’s attributes by displaying his weaknesses and defeats in the face of the all knowing Creator. Then he is the absolute enemy that deceives and enchants man to succumb to their weaknesses. Milton deliberately creates a reason why Satan is necessary to God by examining the Scripture and was further elevated by C.S.
Satan’s envious nature plagues personality; he soon establishes himself as an empowered rebel. In order to mimic and rival the authority of God, Satan immediately establishes himself in a position of power by claiming the role as the leader of the fallen. As a leader Satan exhibits the audacity of self-confidence, he claims “to be weak is miserable doing or suffering” (line 158). His claim is so commanding that the other fallen angels awaken from their state of mental unconsciousness. Satan position as an empowered rebel is illustrated through his infernal mind, and it’s craving for authority; accordingly, Satan urges the shattered forces to “Receive thy new possessor” (line 252).
When a person hears Satan, a streak of fear, and the thought of evil arises. People fear Satan, and think of him as evil, but in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, he displays a thought of the Father being the evil being, and Satan a tragic hero. In Paradise Lost, Book 1 and 2, the minor areas where God is shown, He is displayed as hypocritical. He contradicts himself by creating the humans to be of free will, but when Satan displays free will, he is shunned. Satan could be described in many terms, and by many people, but all can be disputed.
Toward the middle of the story, Satan acted almost as a political figure; he knew when and what to say to persuade other angels to follow him. Some reader suggests that Satan is the protagonist of the story because he struggled to combat his mistrusts and weaknesses. Nonetheless this goal was evil and Adam and Eve turned out to be the pure heroes at the end of the story while they help begin to fix humankind’s evil fate. There are several reasons why Milton focused so much Satan and gave him all the good lines. It is important to know the changes Satan progressed throughout the story.
The important thing is to realize that Satan is sin, and being humans, who are all born into sin, we can easily relate to a sinful character. G-d is holy and perfect. This is something which we, being fallible humans, cannot begin to comprehend. Satan does, at the beginning, follow many of the attributes which coincide with Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero; however, after the first few Books, Satan looses his status as a tragic hero rather rapidly. Along with this, Satan's thoughts parallel the idea of "Evil, be thou my good," (p76, line 110) which is the opposite of what G-d intends.
Milton’s poem is written from the point of view of Satan and in such a way that he appears to be the heroic figure of the tale. Satan is given lines to uplift the demons of hell, seeming to empower them and as he sets off to derail the lives of Adam and Eve, the insight the reader has into the thoughts of the Devil almost make him appear to be the hero. The Satanic character of Milton’s Paradise Lost is shown to be primarily motivated by revenge against God, the creation of chaos, and the gain of power yet somehow he is stilled viewed as the hero to the reader and the other fallen angels in the story. As Satan and his followers were thrown from the heavens by God, during the poem, the fallen Angel seeks his revenge by creating another revolt against the Lord. At the beginning of the poem the Angels who have been cast down to hell speak of the actions they should next take, whether they should seek revenge or should be peaceful and submissive to the lot they have been given.
His perseverance is shown in lines 120-124. Satan has just fallen into Hell, yet he still says he wil... ... middle of paper ... ...od at first has his angels fight against him, but when they could not defeat him, God sent His Son, and Christ threw Satan’s army out of heaven (Milton 207). Christ returns, and his angels joyously welcome him as the victor of the battle (Milton 209). This is different from Satan’s return to Hell after his victory against Satan. Satan’s welcome was more as a welcome from defeat rather than victory (Milton 323).