John Milton: A View of Evil vs. Ignorance

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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. According to my sources, Satan is displayed as the hero, while God is the evil deity, and Milton was wrong for writing Him as so. In this essay, I will show my thoughts on the subject of Satan as an evil deity, and other’s opinions on the matter. Satan is thought of as the tragic hero in Book 1 and 2 of Paradise Lost because he is shunned by God for trying to overthrow Him, and being ambitious enough to think he could be God. Satan, in my opinion, is not as much an evil individual, but more juvenile, and ignorant. He is displayed as juvenile because of his intentions to defeat God in Book 1, and in Book 2, when he comes up with the plan to corrupt God’s creation. He is ignorant in being that he actually believes that if God did not have thunder, then he could have easily defeated God. He continued to show ignorance by going behind God’s back, and trying to conquer him in childish ways. Milton wrote Satan as a hero, because he was very influenced by the English Civil War during that time. During the English Civil War, Milton was on the side of the Puritans led by Cromwell against King Charles. He thought of King Charles as a tyrant that needed to be stopped, and Cromwell as the hero that had to ... ... middle of paper ... ...cially with the characteristics he gave him, and how he wrote God as the tyrant when in the minds of people; God is perfection, while Satan is the exact opposite. Satan is still the bad while God is good, but there will be many inconsistencies in the story, and with religion as a whole. Works Cited Bryson, Michael. “That Far Be From Thee”: Divine Evil and Justification in Paradise Lost.” Milton Quarterly 36.2 (2002): 87. Literary Reference Center. Web. 29 Nov. 2013 Wolfson, Susan, Peter Manning, David Damrosch, and John Milton. "Paradise Lost." The Longman Anthology of British Literature. Fourth ed. Vol. 1B. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. 1726-772. Print. The Early Modern Period. Woodman, Ross Greig. “Satan and Evil: A Study of Milton’s Satans in Relation to the Problem of Evil in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regain’d.” (2012): OAlster. Web. 29 Nov. 2013

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