(4.43); God not only created him, he gave him his pride and ambition. This begins to establish that God wanted him to fall. Satan further laments what has happened: "O had his powerful destiny ordained / Me some inferior angel, I had stood then / happy . . ."
The reader’s dislike of Satan is strengthened by Satan’s shift in motives. The rebellion against God, which he originally describes it as an act of freedom, later comes to be about pure corruption and hate. It’s therefore apparent that if Satan had never given up on his original motives, he could have been the hero of Paradise Lost.
Milton goes on to describe Satan as a strong leader, someone who has the power to influence his fellow angels by using the justification that it is “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n” (3). The fallen angel flaunts his strong-will by standing against God and refusing to stand on the same ground as his suppressor. Milton clarifies Satan’s profound ideas and questions, but at the same time he also identifies the devil’s tragic flaw as an ambitious being that does not know his own limits. In contrast to Milton’s idealization of Satan, the Bible takes on a fundamental view of the sinner as the ultimate adversary to... ... middle of paper ... ...ot be able to prevent man from turning to God in search of logic. These instances displays Milton's portrayal of Satan’s ineptitude to win against God’s supremacy.
In the former, John Milton uses the devil to display how vanity and pride are the sins that halt us in an opportunity to live blissfully, with and under God. Philip Pullman, in his twist on Paradise Lost, The Golden Compass, claims that the original sin was the first, and most essential, step in human beings claiming their free will. He writes the devil (Lord Asriel) as a manipulative, selfish but ultimately admirable character. One who stands his ground and holds onto his beliefs with an intense passion. Milton’s Satan, on the other hand, comes off originally as charming, but slowly presents himself to be weak and unsure, and his ideals are eventually presented as a mask for his insatiable pride.
John Milton seeks to simply “justify the ways of God to men” with his timeless tale of the war between Heaven and Hell, leading to Lucifer being exiled from Heaven to deceiving God’s creation of man in Paradise Lost. I believe Milton is attempting to demonstrate the beginning of the root of all evil by exploring the fall of Lucifer and subsequently Eve’s fall in response. He begins with describing God creating another universe with divine justice, in order to redeem Himself. The pristine creation God named Earth, required a redeemer, thus the emergence of Jesus Christ who offers to sacrifice himself for the sins Adam and Eve were thought to make. Milton makes use of Christian doctrine but still allows himself enough room for poetic license to create this celestial battle.
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.
Throughout Paradise Lost, written by Milton, there are many primary motivations that consequently guide Satan in his actions, revenge, power, and lastly, praise of his own followers. First, Satan is guided throughout Paradise Lost by the revenge he wants God to deal with. He decided to go against the lord and live in the dark place where the damned go. Satan must live with the fact that he was one of the highest angels in heaven, but it still was not good enough to become a ruler along with god. He got mad, and lost his spot that he once held.
So, Satan chooses to be evil, if God is good—“Evil, be thou my Good!”(Paradise Lost 4: 110). By addressing evil, by even knowing the word “evil”, Satan acknowledges the pre-existent construct that God has utilized against him. By this equation, good and God/evil and Satan, Milton establishes the concepts of good and evil as an impermanent construct that is nothing more than an arbitrary byproduct of events and choices. Even the creation of Lucifer in Book Five is a paradox. God essentially speaks creation into existence, and at the very moment God speaks the Son and happiness into existence, he speaks his new enemy Lucifer into opposition to good: And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow All knees in Heav’n, and shall confess him Lord;…
One quality of Satan is his strength. We can see his strength when he is fighting against the angels in the sixth book when Raphael recounts the battle against Satan. The angels could not beat Satan, and Jesus had to be sent against him (Milton 206). This shows that Satan had immense power, but also shows that Christ is more powerful than Satan (Milton 207). Other examples of his strength are in his conversation with Beelzebub.
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. It is this recurring theme of disobedience which shapes the course of Milton’s poem; firstly Satan disobeys God, then, because of Satan, Adam and Eve disobey God. Both the Humans and the Angel are exiled from Paradise and lose their perfect life as a result of