best present his beliefs, Milton utilizes characters from Genesis to draw comparisons between
real-life issues and the well-known story of Adam and Eve. One of the ways that Milton seeks to
express his opposition to the monarchy in England is through the use of Satan as the leader of
what Milton establishes as a sort of democracy in Hell. Furthermore, Milton clearly distinguishes
how Satan, as the leader of the perceived democracy in Hell, not only parallels the Puritan
diversion from the Church in England, but also provokes a discussion of what constitutes free
will. In order for one to best understand the significance of Satan as the leader of Hell, however,
it is necessary for one to first consider and analyze both Milton’s personal views as they relate to
the political climate in England in the 1600’s and how Milton establishes governance in Paradise
Lost, before considering why and how Satan becomes the leader of Hell.
To best understand the significance of Satan as the leader of Hell, it is necessary to first
evaluate Milton’s background and personal views, especially as they relate to the political
conflict in England in the 1600’s. Milton was born on December 9, 1608, and went to college to
become a priest for the Church of England; however, Milton did not end up becoming a priest
(Flannagan 13 and Dickson). Instead, Milton chose to abandon the Church of England to
become a Puritan because he opposed monarchy, which was dynamically linked with the Church
of England (Flannagan 2 and Dickson). Milton believed in a rule ...
... middle of paper ...
epic. By considering how the political climate in England shaped Milton’s views on these issues,
as well as understanding why Milton chose to create a monarchy in Heaven and a dictatorship
disguised as a democracy in Hell, one can best understand why and how Satan becomes the
leader of Hell. Because Milton believed that tyranny was created with the Fall, one can only seek
to explore these other issues by understanding how Satan is the crux of not only Paradise Lost,
but also the fall of all mankind.
Dickson, Dr. Donald. Multiple Lectures on John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Texas A&M
University. College Station, TX. January-March 2014.
Flannagan, Roy. The Riverside Milton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Print.
Milton, John. "Paradise Lost." The Riverside Milton. Ed. Roy Flannagan. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1998. 354-710. Print.
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