The Role Of Satan In Milton's Paradise Lost

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In writing an epic, Milton had a daunting task ahead of him as he looked to transform Satan, a historical character in the Christian bible, into what seemingly is the epic hero of his renowned literary work, Paradise Lost. Throughout this process, Satan is humanized into a character that has his ups but also downs, and Milton’s use of literary techniques let us eventually realize how evil Satan is despite the sympathy readers may have for this tragic figure. Ultimately, not only does Satan grow more evil in the epic, the close interaction we get of Satan’s character allows us to see his wavering mind before being completely submerged by evil. As the epic begins in Book 1, the Fallen Angels are seen banished to hell after failing to take control…show more content…
By recognizing God’s “surpassing glory” (IV, 32), Satan displays to the reader that God was not the ruthless and cruel character he described when he was talking to his Fallen Angels. Instead, Satan acknowledges the fact that he still sees God in positive light and he “still half in love with the thing he has rejected and compelled to catalogue its attraction” (Fish, 49). Satan, as a result, should not be seen as completely evil though he eventually takes his stand against God. Through this ordeal, it looks as if he has to persuade himself to do what he believes is the right thing, although it may not be the just thing to do. Evidently, Satan’s character vacillates to the point where his heroism is all but vanished as he changes for the…show more content…
He would manipulate and deceive in any fashion as long as he can destroy God’s creation. Satan admits that God was good but his goodness made him feel “miserable” (IV, 73) because of his “boasting” (IV, 85). It is likely that God had no intention of boasting but that does not stop the evil that persists in Satan’s mind from thinking that way. At last, Satan severs his connection with God forever as he states, “farewell, hope; and with hope farewell, fear; Farewell, remorse, all good to me is lost” (IV, 107-108). Satan bids farewell to who he was before, a god amongst the heaven and abandons all hope of any repentance from God. Instead, he embraces his sinful nature, emphasizing his unwillingness to conform to God’s intent and that he looks towards “by thee at least / Divided empire with Heaven’s King I hold, / By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign.” (IV, 109-111) From here on after, Satan intends to have his own standard in his own land, hell, which no longer has God in
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