Can the devil be an epic hero? In John Milton's Paradise Lost- the great epic from the English Renaissance, this topic was discussed time and again. Numerous scholars consider that Paradise lost should be one of the most exceptional pieces of the Renaissance, especially when talking about the question can the devil be an epic hero? Satan's speech allows us to view him as a heroic character, one who will not accept defeat. Milton's presentation of Satan is intriguing and it can be argued that he is the tragic hero of the book.
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. Accordingly, when the character of Satan is followed throughout Paradise Lost, Milton`s reason behind the order of development can be realized. Milton’s desire to create a strong hatred of Satan is achieved best by emphasizing Satan’s good points first. Then, when Satan’s real character begins to surface, the reader is shocked by the actions of their ‘hero’, causing them to dislike him more than if he had always been a bad character. The reader’s dislike of Satan is strengthened by Satan’s shift in motives.
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). Satan reveals his envious determination and desire to rule when blatantly declaring that it is “Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n” (line 263). Since his fall from Heaven, Satan no longer considers the location of his kingdom to be of monument importance; instead, it is one’s perspective that “Can makes Heav’n of a Hell, Hell of a heav’n (line 255). He believes that individuals create their own authority and control; it is a matter of perception. Satan driven by his envy of God’s position and power manipulates his fellow fallen “to confirm his words, out-flew millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs of mighty Cherubim,” soon they will erect Satan’s personal Kingdom in Hell (lines
Milton’s forced perception of Satan as the hero of the poem reflects his stated purpose for writing the piece. By placing Satan in a traditional heroic role, Milton illustrates his manipulative and cunning nature, which anyone can easily fall prey to, and resultingly fashions Satan into an antihero. The ancient
Along with this, Satan's thoughts parallel the idea of "Evil, be thou my good," (p76, line 110) which is the opposite of what G-d intends. In order to attempt to discern if Satan is a tragic hero, his character must fit a certain profile. According to Aristotle's theory, the tragic hero has the potential to be great, but is doomed to fail. The tragic hero, although fallen, still wins a moral victory. The general characteristics follow that the tragic hero is a noble, is responsible for their fate, contains a tragic flaw, and is doomed to make a severe error in judgment.
He rallies the other fallen angels and even inspires the readers to be moved by some of the things he states. Milton’s epic can be seen as a way to celebrate the evil character however, when one knows the background of the author it is obvious that this appearance of Satan as a hero is meant as a metaphor for the fact that Satan and his evil ways can seem appealing and how easily one can be caught in his trap. Milton uses his skill with words and literature to make the Devil appear endearing or heroic to the those reading his poem yet the poem symbolizes how one can mistake the evil of Satan for something good. Milton’s heroic Satan is only a symbol of the demon he truly is in disguise.
Comparing the View of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost with Contemporary Views of Satan In Milton's classic epic poem Paradise Lost the reader gains a judicious and even controversial vision of Satan as the protagonist of the epic. This is in direct contrast with our current idea and opinion of Satan as the leading nominal of evil and darkness. In Milton's Paradise Lost the Prince of Darkness is our hero. Perhaps not in the true sense of the word, but rather, he is the character that the reader is able to understand. The reader can see the "human" in the fallen angel, Lucifer.
In his epic poem Paradise Lost, John Milton presents Satan as a complex and multifaceted figure. As Jeffrey Burton Russell describes in The Prince of Darkness, Milton’s goal in writing this epic poem was to “justify the ways of God to men” (Russell, chap.12, p.15). With this in mind, it is easy to interpret the character of Satan as a mere foe, the evil at the opposite of God’s goodness, and to see God as the obvious protagonist of the poem. Things in Milton, however, are not quite as black and white, and while the justification of God’s actions is at the centre here, it is the character of Satan who drives the poem forward, as a protagonist should. Satan is presented as a heroic figure from the very beginning of the poem.
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.
1-5). These lines create an aura of awe and majesty for Satan, showing his glory and splendor through material things, while at the same time inferring indirectly that this material show is all that Satan has, rather than real power or value. After this portrayal of Satan the epic hero in all his magnificence, the speaker (the heavenly muse) is very careful to bring down his image morally, despite the magnificent outward experience. The muse asserts that, by merit raised To that bad eminence; and from despair Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue Vain war with Heav'n, and by success untaught His proud imaginations thus displayed, (II. 5-10).