Compare And Contrast The Characterization Of Satan And The Devil In Paradise Lost

Good Essays
Question: Compare / Contrast the characterization of Satan/the Devil as he appears in the excerpts we’ve read of the Bible vs. the characterization of Satan as he appears in Book IV of Paradise Lost. Ask anyone to draw Satan and you 'll get a red snake-like figure with horns and a pitchfork. Satan, as introduced in the Hebrew bible is an unworthy adversary of God. His longing to be like God is quickly recognized and dealt with. God banishes him from Heaven and sends him to Hell. That 's the last we see of him until he talks with God about his faithful servant Job. In each interaction we see Satan in, we get only a glimpse of who he really is. Satan 's motive is not developed and we assume he does evil simply because he is evil…show more content…
After Satan is worshipped by the other fallen angels, he begins his journey to the new land. He notices that there are nine gates of Hell and approaches the one guarded by Sin and Death. After convincing them to open the gate , he continues on to find Chaos, Night, Confusion, Discord and a few others. He once again uses his rhetorical skills to convince Chaos to show him the way to Earth. Now that he knows where he is going he continues the difficult journey : " So he with difficulty and labour hard/Mov’d on, with difficulty and labour hee;" (1021-1022). Satan will stop at nothing to get to Earth. Milton 's description of Satan 's journey shows us his determination and his intelligence . Even God takes account of Satan 's drive and mentions it to the Son…show more content…
Seeing paradise only reminds Satan of what he lost as a result of his fall from Heaven. Satan comes to the conclusion that he is the very embodiment of hell, bringing it everywhere he goes : “The Hell within him, for within him Hell /He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell/One step no more then from himself can fly (20-22).” Compared to the Bible, we actually get to see the torment Satan suffers as he lives his life as God’s adversary. Satan actually takes responsibility for his fall , pointing out the flaws that led to it: “Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down” ( 40 ) . Unlike the Satan in Genesis and Job, Milton’s Satan clearly understands why he has fallen. As Satan continues to ponder his situation , he realizes that even if there was a chance for his redemption, he would never be comfortable being God’s servant. Sooner or later, the same feelings of inferiority and the desire to overthrow God would rise. Satan becomes bitterer as his soliloquy goes on and resolves that his fate is sealed : “So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,/ Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;/Evil be thou my Good;”( 108-110). He then goes on to continue his revenge plot on God. Angry with God for putting him in the position to fall , Satan sees the same potential for failure in Adam and Eve. He then explains that it is in fact God’s fault that he must corrupt them and tells them to “ Thank him
Get Access