Milton's Satan Essay example

Milton's Satan Essay example

Length: 1953 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost is a complex character meant to be the evil figure in the epic poem. Whenever possible Satan attempts to undermine God and the Son of God who is the true hero of the story. Throughout the story Milton tells the readers that Satan is an evil character, he is meant not to have any redeeming qualities, and to be shown completely as an unsympathetic figure. Satan’s greatest sins are pride and vanity in thinking he can overthrow God, and in the early part of the poem he is portrayed as selfish while in Heaven where all of God’s angels are loved and happy. 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). Not only is Satan a courageous figure, but starts off as a good character even though he makes mistakes along the way. In the first two Books Milton does this very thing of portraying Satan as a hero to appeal to the readers so that they are able to identify with his charact...


... middle of paper ...


...ward making Milton’s Satan a heroic figure.



Works Cited

Aristotle. “Nicomachean Ethics”. gen ed. Cahn, Steven M., and Peter J. Markie. Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues. 4th ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
Forsyth, Neil. "Paradise Lost And The Origin Of 'Evil': Classical Or Judeo-Christian?." International Journal Of The Classical Tradition. Literary Reference Center.
NC Live. 2000. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.
Henthorne, Susan. "Paradise Lost." Masterplots, 4th ed. Literary Reference Center. 2010. EBSCOhost. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. Vol. A. gen ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 8th Ed. New York: Norton, 2006. 1831-2055. Print.
Nienhuis, Terry. "Paradise Lost." Magill’S Survey Of World Literature, Revised Edition. Literary Reference Center. 2009. EBSCOhost. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Glenn Duncan's Use of Milton's Satan Essay

- Glen Duncan's novel I, Lucifer can be read as an infernal reply to the divinely inspired Paradise Lost. This is particularity apparent when comparing the separate accounts of the fall of Satan and the garden of Eden, as well as countless details throughout the stories. These accounts are incredibly similar, but unsurprisingly, due to his use of Satan as narrator, Duncan spins the stories to play up the lack of justice in Satan's treatment. In many ways I, Lucifer can be considered a sequel to Paradise Lost....   [tags: Lucifer, justice, Satan, Paradise Lost, fate]

Term Papers
1802 words (5.1 pages)

Milton's Satan Essay example

- Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost is a complex character meant to be the evil figure in the epic poem. Whenever possible Satan attempts to undermine God and the Son of God who is the true hero of the story. Throughout the story Milton tells the readers that Satan is an evil character, he is meant not to have any redeeming qualities, and to be shown completely as an unsympathetic figure. Satan’s greatest sins are pride and vanity in thinking he can overthrow God, and in the early part of the poem he is portrayed as selfish while in Heaven where all of God’s angels are loved and happy....   [tags: Literary Characters]

Term Papers
1953 words (5.6 pages)

Is Satan the Epic Hero in Paradise Lost? Essay

- Young children and adults across the world are taught that God is a hero above the rest. He is both omnipotent and omnipresent, almost like how Santa Clause is described as to little children. God does no wrong and is incapable of committing a sin; He is a picture perfect being. Satan is God’s archenemy and polar opposite, he’s popularly known for his evil ways and the fiery inferno that he inhabits, described in the book Dante’s Inferno. Rarely do people confuse the idea that God is the hero and Satan is the evildoer that needs to be extinguished from the world....   [tags: John Milton, Satan, God, Hell, Heaven]

Term Papers
2134 words (6.1 pages)

Essay about Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Milton’s Satan of Paradise Lost

- Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Milton’s Satan of Paradise Lost bear many similarities to each other. Both characters possess diabolical ambitions to overthrow the natural order of their circumstances for the lust for power. Both committed atrocious acts that led to others’ downfalls-Macbeth committed multiple acts of murder, and Satan vowed to corrupt humankind and did so with deceit. Both are portrayed as complex characters with, in some cases, conflicted feelings about their evil doings. Aside from these similarities, there are significant differences as well....   [tags: Comparing Macbeth and Satan ]

Term Papers
1831 words (5.2 pages)

Milton's Take on Satan in Paradise Lost Essay

- Milton makes Satan out to be a loveable likeable character that we can relate to, for a man of principle and a godly man why does he do this “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.”Revelation 1: 8 in the King James Version John Milton’s Paradise lost is a poetic amalgam of vice and virtue it is an epic navigates the perils of right, wrong and the grey area that humans themselvesstraddle. An epic inherently conflicted at its very core stemming from the writer and the environment around him....   [tags: Paradise Lost John Milton]

Term Papers
1439 words (4.1 pages)

Comparing the View of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost with Contemporary Views of Satan

- Comparing the View of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost with Contemporary Views of Satan In Milton's classic epic poem Paradise Lost the reader gains a judicious and even controversial vision of Satan as the protagonist of the epic. This is in direct contrast with our current idea and opinion of Satan as the leading nominal of evil and darkness. In Milton's Paradise Lost the Prince of Darkness is our hero. Perhaps not in the true sense of the word, but rather, he is the character that the reader is able to understand....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost ]

Term Papers
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on A Complex Satan in John Milton's Paradise Lost

- Milton's Complex Satan in Paradise Lost Milton's Satan continues to fascinate critics largely because he is more complex than the Devil of the Christian tradition appears. Satan's rebelliousness, his seeking of transcendence, his capacity for action, particularly unconventional action, endeared him to certain types of minds, even if their viewpoint might be considered theologically misleading. Milton often follows the road of intellectual definition for his characters, of reasoning demonstration....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Free Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Satan is No Hero in John Milton's Paradise Lost Essays

- Satan is No Hero in Paradise Lost There have been many different interpretations of John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost. Milton's purpose in writing the epic was to explain the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Although the epic is similar to the Bible story in many ways, Milton's character structure differs from that of the Bible's version. Through-out the epic Milton describes the characters in the way he believes they are. In book II of Paradise Lost, Milton portrays Satan as a rebel who exhibits certain heroic qualities, but who turns out not to be a hero....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Free Essays
1717 words (4.9 pages)

Analysis of Satan's Speech in in John Milton's Paradise Lost

- Analysis of Satan's Speech in Milton's Paradise Lost       John Milton's Paradise Lost is a work of enduring charm and value because of its theological conceptions, its beautiful language, and its "updating" of the epic to the modern world's values. Book II of this epic poem opens with Satan's speech to his minions in hell, proposing war on Heaven itself. In these first 44 lines, Satan is clearly established as epic hero, but at the same time is theologically/morally denounced by the speaker....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Term Papers
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Satan: The True Hero of Paradise Lost by Milton

- Satan: The True Hero of Paradise Lost by Milton The identity of the true protagonist in Paradise Lost is a mystery. One would gather that Milton, a Puritan, would have no problem casting God as the hero, and Satan as the antagonist. However, looking back in history, Milton saw that most epic heroes had conflicts that prevented them from accomplishing their goals. God and his Son have no conflict, and Adam’s story does not really begin until the Fall of Man. Therefore, Milton was forced to select Satan as the hero of Paradise Lost because he adheres to the guidelines of epic poetry set by Homer, Virgil and others....   [tags: Milton Paradise Lost Essays]

Term Papers
1622 words (4.6 pages)