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humanizing Satin

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Humanizing Satan: An Examination of Satan as a Victim

In John Milton’s, The Paradise Lost, Milton’s representation of Satan makes us uncomfortable due to the recognition of his humanizing and relatable reaction to what happened to him. The reader expects Satan to be an evil, and malevolent figure who does evil acts because he loves it and there is no defense for it. While these aspects are prevalent in his character in the poem, Satan does not come across as a completely wicked person but instead, a victim. The representation of Satan has a personifying quality that any of us may have and do not want to admit. In book one, Milton’s portrayal of Satan makes us uneasy because we relate to his actions, which are ordinary human responses to similar situations. It is troubling to say that in this particular poem, Satan resembles humans. However, our human nature is to have an instant reflex to justify our actions without taking any responsibility, which resembles the way Satan justifies his mischievous acts in this poem. Most of the time, we would never think of Satan as a victim; yet, we find ourselves discovering our human nature in Satan’s rationalizations. So, what humanizes this monstrous figure? After thoroughly reading book one, there are many instances when Satan justifies what he has done to make sense of it. Satan believes that God deceived him because he did not know how much power he possessed. According to Satan, God did unjust things that justified his actions. Satan has a whole rationale that God had arbitrary power that caused Satan to become the way he is in the poem. This perception serves as Satan’s foundation on behalf of his justification, which we all can relate to because he does not take responsibility but pr...

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..., this self-justification and rationalization is a way of him saying, I am justified, which is an innate human quality. This representation is very different from what most people are used to seeing, which results in the reader relating to him and viewing him as victim because we identify with him. The humanizing aspect of Satan in the poem to have an initial reaction and say I am wronged in this situation is identical with our innate reaction to similar incidents. Even though we are different than Satan in many ways, we usually do not take accountability when we are expected to. Thus, we sympathize with Satan in this poem because we also rely on self-justification to avoid taking blame for our wrong doings and accept that we are sometimes wrong. Hence, since we understand his situation due to the way it mirrors our human nature, we consider Satan to be a victim.
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