From the War in Heaven through the fall of man in Paradise Lost,
Satan's weapon at every point is some form of fraud (Anderson, 135).
Milton's Paradise Lost explains the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
Although the epic is similar to the Bible story in many ways, Milton's
character structure of Satan differs from that of the Bible's version.
Milton describes the characters as the way he believes they are
throughout the epic. In book two of Paradise Lost, Milton portrays
Satan as a rebel who exhibits certain heroic qualities, but who turns
out not to be a hero. Everything that Satan reveals is reason mixed
with obscurity, and lies mixed with the truth.
Milton's introduction of Satan shows the reader the thin line between
good and evil. Satan was once one of the highest angels in Heaven, and
was know as Lucifer, the light bearer. Milton portrays to the reader
that Satan was once a strong leader and had a large impact to all in
his presence. He best describes Satan's devious way when stating, "His
pride/ had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host. / Of rebel
angels, by whose aspiring/ To set himself in glory above his peers"
(Book I L 37). Satan's pride was the main reason that God banned him
from heaven. Satan continuously tried to be above God, instead of
following in God's shadow. He would have lived a life in Paradise
forever, but instead, he followed his feelings. "Better to reign in
Hell than serve in Heav'n" (L 263). This shows how strongly he felt
about not being above God in Heaven, and only being second "best."
Milton uses many examples as the one above to portray Satan's true
qualities to th...
... middle of paper ...
... Adam and Eve, Milton focuses more on
Satan than any other character. Through persuasive speech, and a need
for a thriving leadership, Satan is Milton's best and most thorough
character. Throughout Paradise Lost Satan shows many sides to his
character, but if one remembers that everything that Satan reveals is
reason mixed with obscurity, and lies mixed with the truth, Satan
isn't too hard to read and understand. In conclusion, it is clear to
see that Satan's weapon at every point is some form of fraud, and once
this is recognized Satan's character can be understood.
Anderson, Gene Michael. "Milton's Paradise Lost." The Explicator.
Spring 95, Vol. 53 Issue 3, p135.
McColley, Grant. Paradise Lost: An Account of Its Growth and Major
Origins. New York: Russell and Russell, 1963.
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