The Fall Of Man In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost is John Milton’s epic poem, written during the 17th century. Originally separated into 10 books, and later into twelve books, it concerns the Biblical story of the fall of man. Milton’s intent was stated in the first book as a means to justify God’s actions to man. Through the book, the reader alternates from focusing on Satan and the others demons in Hell, God and the Son and angles in heaven, and of Adam and Eve on Earth. Satan is the first of the major characters introduced, formally called Lucifer. He is the leader of the failed rebellion against God. Satan is arrogant, proud, but incredibly charismatic as his persuasive powers are demonstrated throughout the book. He is cunning, deceptive, and compelling. Satan is the most…show more content…
An example of these self-delusions occurs around line 44 in chapter IV, “whom he created what I was / In that bright eminence, and with his good / Upbraided none, nor was his service hard” (4.44-45). Satan acknowledges that God created him in his holy light and is aware that he received strength from Him. However, as Satan says, “yet all his good proved ill in me, / and wrought but malice” he seems to feel as though God has imposed ill will upon him (4.48-49). Satan contradicts himself as he uses “good” as a description of God while feeling as though He acted with “malice.” His anger and pride narrow his mind, making him unable to see that his disgust with God comes only from himself. The contradiction continues has he says “The debt immense of endless gratitude, / So burthensome still paying, still to owe” (4.52-53). Satan’s possible sarcasm in speech continues as he dismisses God while praising Him within the same lines. Satan acts arrogant, egotistical, and incredibly child-like, similar to qualities not uncommon to man. Satan will not admit that he acquired his ability to question God from God. This inconsistency continues as…show more content…
As the story develops, the reader begins to clearly see that Satan is not the hero. The reader does not make this connection quickly because of Satan’s intriguing character and charisma. He is the first to appear in the story and the reader is quickly welcomed by Satan’s views. The readers quickly empathize with him as he appears to oppose the rule of a tyrannical and unjust God. Satan states, “That glory never shall his wrath or might / Extort from me” (1.110-111). Though God does not express wrath or extort anything from his creations, the reader knows only Satan’s story and quickly empathizes with him. Through his propaganda, the reader knows only that Satan was the only one that dared to defy God. His character, outright, seems heroic. The reader finds, however, that Satan is proud and arrogant. His vain and selfish thinking prevent him from fully realizing that his action was an act of rebellion against his mightier creator. A famous line of Satan’s, “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n” demonstrating his selfish desires to stand equal with God, or possibly eliminate his power over the angels (1.263). As the brightest of the angels, one can assume he was blinded by pride, vanity, and jealousy. Satan’s proposal to corrupt mankind is evil, defying God is evil,
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