Paradise Lost’s Satan and The Grand Inquisitor's Evil

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Evil’s origin begins with Adam and Eve using their special gift, free will, to commit the first sin. They sinned because they were tempted from the free will to choose between following or disobeying God’s orders. Paradise Lost is an epic written by John Milton that describes the fallen angel Satan and the fall of man. The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoevsky is about an archbishop who talks with Jesus and wants to burn him as a heretic. Paradise Lost and The Grand Inquisitor both discuss free will and the stories of two benevolent characters that use their free will to choose evil. In Paradise Lost and The Grand Inquisitor, the main characters Satan and the Grand Inquisitor are evil because they use free will to choose evil over good.

Satan and the Grand Inquisitor at first follow the path of righteousness before they became poisoned with evil. They are both supporters that were deeply pledged to God in similar ways. Satan was an important angel as described by the dialogue between Archangel Raphael and Adam.

“Satan, so call him now, his former name

Is hear no more in Heav’n; he of the first,

If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,

In favour and preeminence,” (Milton, 658-661, Book V)

By being one of God’s most illustrious angels, Satan proves his devotion towards God by serving him. He is so zealous that he desires to be God’s only second in command. Similarly, Satan’s dedication to God is like the Grand Inquisitor’s. The Grand Inquisitor served God as a follower and preacher of his word. “It’s long— eight centuries— since we have been on his side and not on Thine” (Dostoevsky, 238) The Grand Inquisitor, like the Church’s predecessors, followed God’s word and Jesus for a long time before they abandoned God an...

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...n. That deception will be our suffering, for we shall be forced to lie.” (Dostoevsky, 234) Although the Grand Inquisitor is evil and follows Satan, he does it so others are free from it. He willingly becomes a villain so he can save others. The Grand Inquisitor reason behind evil is on the opposite spectrum why Satan chooses evil. Both characters have reasons that justified their reason but the Grand Inquisitor believes he is doing good.

Paradise Lost’s Satan and The Grand Inquisitor’s the Grand Inquisitor chooses evil because they were once good beings that were tempted by the desire for power and their personal goals. They were both ambitious and thought they were doing the right thing by overthrowing the powers above them. Satan and the Grand Inquisitor both used their free will to do good but chooses to sin against God, the one that gave them free will.
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