Analysis Of John Milton 's Paradise Lost

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Roberts 1
Jackson Roberts
Dr. Marks
AP English
11 Mar, 2015
Paradise Lost: A “Knotty Problem” In the world of literature, the most memorable characters are often those who are the most complex. Readers may sympathize with a character they find appealing, but the most enigmatic characters will stick out in their minds when they think back on their reading. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan provides an archetype for this sort of character. Throughout the poem, an obvious contradiction develops between the apparent heroism in Satan’s actions and his role as the poem’s main force of evil. First, it is clear that throughout the poem that Satan plays the role of the classic villain. It is often said that “actions speak louder than words”, and Satan’s actions in Paradise Lost are a continuous stream of dreadful deeds. One example of his evil doings that readers will be most revolted by is his incestuous impregnation of his own daughter, Sin. His resultant son/grandson, Death, then also impregnates his mother, which also implies Satan’s evil genetics passing down through generations. When Sin surprises Satan by telling him that she is his daughter, rather than feeling remorse, Satan is glad, because he can use his kinship to Sin and Death to get free from the gates of Hell with sweet talk. When he tells Sin, “I come no enemy, but to set free/ From this dark and dismal house of pain,/ Both him and

Roberts 2 thee” (2, 822-824), Satan further removes himself from the
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