Milton uses many events like the ones listed above to encourage the reader to view Satan as a hero. "Satan is described to be the brightest and most important angel" (McColley 32). These traits of Satan show... ... middle of paper ... ...e lead to ingratitude towards God" from the beginning of the epic (Weber 25). Although Satan is a great warrior and can give wonderful speeches, he seems to be hypocritical of what he tells his followers he believes and what he really does. An example of this is when we are first introduced to Satan.
The first two books of Paradise Lost describe Satan, the fallen angels, and their experiences after they fall from heaven. Satan’s followers are still confident in their ambitious leader. Satan feels pressured to somehow make it up to the fallen angels for their humiliating downfall. When nobody volunteers to explore the new world, Satan, as the commander, takes it upon himself. Due to his constant pride, Satan is courageous, a quality of an epic hero.
We are painfully reminded of our initial affiliation with Satan and his doomed aspirations when Rapheal recounts the war in heaven in book VI. It seems the first epic revolving around Satan was over before it was started, and now our would be underdog threatens us by threatening our new protagonist in Adam. The brief warnings of Raphael are not enough to preserve paradise and save Adam & Eve from the vengence of the Devil. It seems our hero is destined to ruin once again, but this time there is hope. Man turns out to be more repentant than Satan, and God turns out to be a little more leniant to man.
Satan introspects in the first soliloquy (lines 32-113), searching for the motivation and reasoning behind his fall. He struggles with why he felt the urge to rebel. This very doubting suggests that his rebellion does not originate from a conscious effort; it is part of his internal makeup. Therefore, God created a flawed angel from the beginning (this is also supported by the fact that Sin comes from Satan's head while he is still in Heaven). Satan first acknowledges that his pride and ambition caused his fall (4.40).
In Book I of Paradise Lost, through the sympathy, glory, and characteristics Milton gives him, Satan begins to look almost like the hero with the plan, confidence, and team to defeat Omnipotent God and take over heaven. Milton establishes Satan right away as a powerful speaker full of authority and cleverness, but someone who also is tortured by pain and fear. It becomes clear of Satan's motives and the control he will have of the story when in lines 159-162 he says, "To do aught good never will be our task,/ But ever to do ill our sole delight,/ As being the contrary to his high will/ Whom we resist." Satan's main objective is to do evil and cause disturbance to everything in his path causing more trouble for God by trying to undo everything he does; which becomes even more obvious at the end of Book I and into Book II when he talks of God's new creation and the desire to corrupt it. As shown throughout Paradise Lost, but beginning in Book 1 when Satan says "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven", Satan's biggest sin is pride and because of his pride hope is unattainable for him (line 263).
Satan got very jealous because he thought that he deserved to rule with God, rather than his son. He got some of the angels who once supported the lord to then go against him. There was a fight between heaven and all of the fallen angels for power. Satan was warned that no one could beat heaven in the end, but he doesn’t believe so. He continues to want to fight, and states it is “better to reign in hell than to rule in heaven.
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).
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 words as “cloth’d in reason’s garb.”(II, 226) Satan himself is unaware of his own pride and jealousy. His original disobedience is the reason that Adam and Eve fall; lured by Satan’s seemingly reasonable words, Adam and Eve disobey God as he did.
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.
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.