Essay On Satan In Paradise Lost

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Sheena Mammen
Professor Lynch
English 102 H
April 3, 2014

Milton’s Paradise Lost
Milton’s depiction of Satan in Paradise Lost makes it likely for us to identify with Satan.
The way Satan acts is both smooth and deceptive. He embodies the characteristics of someone who would make a strong leader. The rhetoric Satan employs enables the audience to get insight into his internal state of mind. Satan is able to gather an army and help bring upon the fall of “Paradise” through his rhetoric and devious ways. His goal is to ensue as much chaos and evil as he possibly can. The way Satan expresses his thoughts, furthers the idea that he is out for vengeance and power. Satan desires to be the best, which requires him to be: tactful as well as cunning. In his speeches, he employs various rhetorical strategies, that convince the fallen angels as well as the audience, to side with him during points of the book. Satan’s discourse with other characters or his monologues also explains to the audience who he is as a character.
Satan’s discourse make’s the audience aware of his apparent need for power. He wants to be able to out shine God,which has left him chained to the burning lake. Satan in his first “speech” discusses his fall from Heaven after attempting to overthrow God. Satan in this particular speech is showing that he is strong willed, crafty and persistent. He doesn’t feel as though all hope is lost. “What though the field be lost/All is not lost; the unconquerable Will/And study of revenge, immortal hate/And courage never to submit or yield:/And what is else not to be overcome.” (Book 1.105-109) He is saying that all hope isn’t lost because God hasn’t really won. And that regardless of the fact that he has fallen, ...

... middle of paper ... using rhetorical questions like those present in Shakespearean language. Satan can be seen asking these type of questions to emphasize his point. It can also be seen as scarcasm the way Satan addresses the other fallen angels. The language Satan employs in parts of his speech can be seen as similar to the soliloquies from Shakespeare. It enforces the fact that he is a smooth talker. When Satan uses this rhetorical device, the audience is able to see what he is thinking.

Milton’s Paradise Lost shows Satan as both devious and heroic in a sense. He uses various rhetorical devices in order to convey his message. His dialogue and monologues provide us with an understanding of his character. Milton gives the audience the chance to relate to Satan, to show them that how much they fall short of God’s grace. But the audience is also fully aware of Satan devious nature.
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