Satan, the Core of Milton´s Paradise Lost Essay

Satan, the Core of Milton´s Paradise Lost Essay

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The great debate whether Satan is the hero of Milton’s Epic Poem, Paradise Lost, has been speculated for hundreds of years. Milton, a writer devoted to theology and the appraisal of God, may not have intended for his portrayal of Satan to be marked as heroic. Yet, this argument is valid and shares just how remarkable the study of literature can be. Milton wrote his tale of the fall of man in the 1674. His masterpiece is an example of how ideas of a society change with time. This is because it wasn’t until the 1800’s during the Romantic era, that people no longer saw the hero of literary works as perfect in every way. It started to become more popular to develop the flawed character similar to the ones written in the classics. A literary criterion that is based on a protagonist, who undergoes conflict on the outside and from within and is prevented by a specific flaw to accomplish their main goal, creates an epic Hero. In Paradise Lost, God does not face conflict because he is perfect and all-knowing, and Adam’s conflict is not presented from the very start, Satan’s is. Because Satan is the main character of the work and possesses qualities that would deem him heroic, such as his determination against tough odds, his ability to lead, and his human-like nature to error, he can be seen has the Hero of the famous poem.
From the very moment that Satan is introduced he presents this unwavering passion to defeat his all-mighty creator. Satan says in book one, “By force, hath overcome but half his foe. (1:648-649). Here, Satan states in his second speech that they have not lost the battle of Heaven vs. Hell completely. God was stronger than they expected but they were going to overcome their first loss and win the next one. Not...


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...ctions do not have to be moral, in order to see him as a character that shows immense strife, great power and apparent flaws. His immorality is a disturbing aspect and makes it difficult to use the word, Hero, but it can also be argued that without his presence the story would hold no value. He is the main attraction and his journey becomes man’s journey. Writer William Blake shares:
Without Satan’s Rebellion, man would possibly not have been created and would certainly not have fallen, and no justification of the ways of God to man would have been necessary or possible. A proper understanding of the rebellion of Satan is likewise essential to the whole philosophic meaning of the epic (The motivation of Satan’s Rebellion)
Satan is the core of Milton’s master piece and no matter how he is interpreted; the overall complexity of his character cannot be overlooked.

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