Satan's Role As Hero In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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There are many different arguments for whom the hero of Milton’s Paradise Lost could be. Hero here is synonymous with protagonist or main character. However, if one were to analyze the universal traits that all protagonists share, the answer could hardly be more clear. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the hero is clearly Satan. There is no character in the story that even comes close to his qualifications for having this title, as from the beginning to the end of the story, no character is given more attention than Satan. That being said, before any argument for Satan’s role as hero in Paradise lost can be made there is a very important concept that must first be established. The concept that first needs to be established before any argument…show more content…
A very important example of this appears in Book II, when Satan is trying to find his way out of hell. The reader is given a vivid look at the appearance of hell directly through the eyes of Satan. The appearances of the rivers, the lakes, the evil creatures, and all the other horrors of hell are all disclosed to the reader(2.506-628) while “Satan with thoughts inflamed of highest design, / Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of hell / Explores his solitary flight” (2.629-632). Milton showed the reader exactly the horrors that Satan is witnessing as he is flying around looking for the gate into chaos. Not only this, but in Book IV Milton uses the exact same strategy to allow the reader to visualize paradise. After Satan sneaks into paradise, in the exact same fashion as was done with hell, Satan flies around and observes the beautiful and lush landscapes that paradise is home to (4.131-287). Satan’s eyes are the only pair that the reader ever gets to the world of Paradise lost, meaning that Satan’s is the only direct perspective we ever get on any scene, other that the omniscient narrator of the tale. With the combination of his account of the background story of Paradise Lost and the fact that he is the only character that the reader is allowed to see through the eyes of in any part of the story, it could not be more clear that the reader sees far more of Satan’s perspective than any other character. This means that Satan already meets two of the qualifications for being considered the hero of Paradise Lost easily, and yet his actual role in the plot of the story has not even been
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