In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan is an ambiguous character that puts a twist on this retelling of the Biblical villain. Milton forces the reader to look at evil and the antagonistic Satan in a more complex light in contrast to the unsympathetic figure referenced in other texts. As the fallen archangel, Satan is a struggling hero fighting against an oppressor, the devil that tempts man to their downfall, and the rebel that involuntarily does God’s bidding. Many of Satan’s attributes are complex and contain contradictory dualities. Satan is determined and believes in his own righteousness when he sees God as a dictator that uses his creations as amusement.
In Paradise Lost, John Milton constantly fidgets with the notions of good and evil. Because of this perpetual play, Milton establishes good and evil as constantly shifting forces that both God and Satan seem to utilize in opposition to each other. The conflicting discourse between the two forces redefines Heaven’s God as a being capable of evil, and Hell’s Satan as a creature seemingly capable of good. At every moment, good and evil find the occasion to switch heroes, leaving them as forces in a continuously reconceived state. It seems though that good becomes capable of what seems to be evil, more than evil is capable of what seems to be good.
Regardless of the reasons for Lucifer and his angels’ fall in the York play and Lucifer’s fall in the Chester play, the fundamental idea in both plays is that evil consists in perverted free-will and the influence of this perversion will rise to its highest value if the will is in conflict with conscience. Obligations towards others is important than obligations towards ourselves. Respect to our own selves obligates us to be faithful and renounce any self-deceit. Only then will we enter into a spiritual relationship with God. Unfortunately, in both the York and the Chester play, Lucifer chooses to serve his creative and perverted free-will by succumbing to its evil intentions.
Milton wrote Satan as a hero, because he was very influenced by the English Civil War during that time. During the English Civil War, Milton was on the side of the Puritans led by Cromwell against King Charles. He thought of King Charles as a tyrant that needed to be stopped, and Cromwell as the hero that had to ... ... middle of paper ... ...cially with the characteristics he gave him, and how he wrote God as the tyrant when in the minds of people; God is perfection, while Satan is the exact opposite. Satan is still the bad while God is good, but there will be many inconsistencies in the story, and with religion as a whole. Works Cited Bryson, Michael.
It also presents us with the Morality play idea, by using the Good and Evil angels to present Faustus’ inner struggle of good versus evil, which he cannot overcome. Finally, Marlowe has also used the section to convey the traits of the Elizabethan tragic hero – in Faustus’ constant search for achievement, inability to recognise implications and failed plans. Ultimately, I feel the section is significant as it powerfully highlights these characteristics to portray the dangers of Faustus’ exploits, while evoking feelings of fear and tension with the audience towards the tragic climax at the end of the play.
(II, ii, 27-30) Doctor Faustus realizes that being a follower is not entirely bad, looking to Mephostophilis as evidence. Mephostophilis influences Doctor Faustus in ways that do not leave him time to consider the consequences of his actions. Faustus’ rootless faith results from the servant/ follower relationship he and Mephostophilis posses. Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus shows the reader that everything in the mortal world is a double-edged sword. In his never-ending quest for knowledge and greatness, Faustus exemplifies how even scholarly life can have evil undertones when ambition is used for unholy purposes.
Satan’s journey starts out as a fallen angel with great stature, has the ability to reason and argue, but by Book X the anguish and pain he goes through is more reason for him to follow an evil path instead. Even so, Milton uses literal and figurative imagery in the description of Satan’s character to manipulate the reader’s response to the possibility that Satan may actually be a heroic figure. As the plot of the story unfolds there are moments where the reader can identify with Satan’s desires and relate to his disappointments. In considering Aristotle’s idea of hamartia, someone who is a good person, but fell from grace, and apply it to Satan then it seems reasonable to interpret Satan as having hero like characteristics. Aristotle would say that a courageous person is inspired by confidence, faces dangerous, and acts appropriately to this courage (Nicomachean Ethics).
In The Golden Compass, the church is an institution that oppresses it’s citizens, and Lord Asriel has no qualms in fighting against it. It is the truth behind Lord Asriel’s passion, that allows the reader to accept him as a sort of hero, while it is Satan’s doubt and weakness that allows us to eventually cast him aside. The resolve of Lord Asriel reflects Pullman’s insistence on how detrimental our own individual thoughts and determinations are. Though our actions may be negative and even harmful, he believes we are essentially soulless without them. Milton, however, see’s that man has no greater obligation than to serve God, and this is the only way which we can find true peace within.
The problem of evil paradoxically separates and unites both authors. Emerson looked inward and Melville pushed outward, each searching, each trying to effect change. The problem of evil remains ever-present, driving both men to reinvest in understanding the interconnectedness, the interdependency of human relations. Though "Melville alternately praised and damned 'this Plato who talks thro' his nose' ", Emerson's influence direct or indirect helped to shape Melville's ideology and thus his fiction (Sealts 82). Both authors acknowledge human pain and suffering, Corruption and vice.