He uses Satan's heroic qualities to introduce his followers his ability to corrupt the good. Satan is one of the greatest angels in Heaven and is known as Lucifer, meaning, ‘light bearer’. This shows he was once a good angel. Milton makes the reader see him as a leader and a strong influence on all in his presence. Satan states: "How such united force of gods, how such / As stood like these, co... ... middle of paper ... ...pportive of him, later reveal his truly destructive character, resulting in the reader disliking Satan.
In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan is an ambiguous character that puts a twist on this retelling of the Biblical villain. Milton forces the reader to look at evil and the antagonistic Satan in a more complex light in contrast to the unsympathetic figure referenced in other texts. As the fallen archangel, Satan is a struggling hero fighting against an oppressor, the devil that tempts man to their downfall, and the rebel that involuntarily does God’s bidding. Many of Satan’s attributes are complex and contain contradictory dualities. Satan is determined and believes in his own righteousness when he sees God as a dictator that uses his creations as amusement.
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.
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.
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). Milton suggests that this is the number one reason Satan is not only thrown out of Heaven, but... ... middle of paper ... ...ed" (lines 55-57; lines 60-69). As the reader reads of the horror of hell and Satan's struggle, the reader almost becomes sucked in like one of his minions. Milton portrays Satan's position as a sad state that is blamed on everyone else but himself, when in reality that's exactly whose fault it is, Satan's. Regardless of Satan's pride and vanity and hopeless situation, the quote "The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven" lies as a central theme for Satan's situation (lines 254-255).
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).
Other examples of his strength are in his conversation with Beelzebub. Beelzebub says to Satan that Satan “shook his throne (Milton14).” One must be very powerful and strong in order to disrupt God’s throne. A third heroic quality of Satan is his perseverance. This is shown in the first book of the epic when he is speaking to one of his fallen angels. His perseverance is shown in lines 120-124.
His speeches were mostly self glorification, but as the story progressed Satan’s characterization changed. He had all the emotions of a human; he had fear, anger, sadness and resentment. Satan also had the charismatic charm of a politician. For example, in book two Satan emphasized the power all the angels are capable of and how God is the enemy. As he spoke, one can see that Satan was very persuasive and knew how to obta... ... middle of paper ... ..., Adam and Eve.
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.
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.