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
The first difference between Paradise Lost and The Bible is Satan’s fall from Heaven. The main distinction in the two accounts is that Milton gives Satan
She believes that the purpose of the poem was to provoke readers (Webber 514). The confusion of Milton’s explanation and God’s intentions arise when Milton makes a claim that Adam and Eve’s plunge into the world of sin was indirectly the result of Lucifer, a serpent wondering around in the Garden of Eden. At this time, Satan becomes the central focus of this poem. Routinely in epic novels and poems the epic character narrates the tale. So for Satan to be the main narrator in books one and two begs to question whether Milton has lost focus in his story and inadvertently portrayed Satan as the epic hero.
Even though this event is mentioned often within the Holy Bible Milton expounds upon it and dedicates the first two books of Paradise Lost entirely to a description of hell and Satans plan to tempt humanity. It can be assumed that Milton basses his arguments on one of the more detailed descriptions of Satan that can be found in the book of Isaiah, chapter 14:12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High.
Through his work of Paradise Lost, Milton exposes his view that God allows suffering in order for a greater good of the human race to exist. Milton uses the Fall- both Satan’s and Adam and Eve’s- as a device to demonstrate human corruption, as each fall is “a step down from a higher being to a lower being”. Both the Fall of Satan and the Fall of Adam & Eve are falls away from a position of divine power to a position of chaos and disorder- something Milton illustrates as an undesirable event. Milton introduces Satan as a selfish, power-hungry character; similar to an individual of today’s society who believes they are the greatest- nobody can ‘one-up’ them. He inherently denies of the existence of a greater God, as that would discredit his own belief that he is the utmost being. Instead of blind denial, Satan instead builds up a power against God himself, in an effort to “contest the throne of Heaven” (slide). However, this in of itself is a hypocrisy on his own beliefs, as he cannot be autonomous in a search for autonomy, since he is unable to defeat God on his own. This is Satan’s first fall, because he has now relinquished his stance on denying a being greater than himself, and must maintain his uprising unless he wants to face what Milton would consider a second Fall. Milton uses Satan as a representation of disobedience within the human race; he is the ‘wrong direction’ in the two paths of moral decisions. He uses Satan to show that rebellion that stems from self-
In Milton's Paradise Lost, he writes the story of the fall of Satan, his followers, and mankind. Many critics often view Satan as the unlikely or tragic hero of the epic poem. Satan is, obviously, the main character throughout most of the poem, but not necessarily the hero. Satan's main purpose is to fight G-d, and try to be on the same level as Him. The important thing is to realize that Satan is sin, and being humans, who are all born into sin, we can easily relate to a sinful character. G-d is holy and perfect. This is something which we, being fallible humans, cannot begin to comprehend. Satan does, at the beginning, follow many of the attributes which coincide with Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero; however, after the
John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, has been the subject of criticism and interpretation through many years; these interpretations concur in that Adam and Eve are the sufferers of the poem, and it is their blight to lose Paradise because of their disobedience; however, their exile is merely a plight brought by Satan, and it is he who suffers exile before any others. Satan changes from Book I of the poem to Book XII; his introduction is heroic and grand, appearing as a hero rebelling against an unjust God. But by the finalization of Milton’s poem, Satan is a burnt shell of himself and, though ruler of Pandemonium, he sits in a throne in the lowest pit from God’s light. Satan’s exile brings forth the salvation of mankind and his own regressive transformation; tying in with the theme of disobedience, Satan’s exile gives
Throughout time, John Milton's Paradise Lost has been studied by many people and comprehended in many different fashions, developing all kinds of new interpretations of the great epic. There have been many different interpretations of this great epic. 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. All 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.
Paradise Lost is a story of Genesis told as it normally would be, but with a protagonist focus on Satan. The story is told largely with Satan being favorably portrayed and God having little presence other than cursing things, which convinces the audience that Satan’s view of God as a tyrant may not be too far off. Still, Satan is portrayed as the villain of the story. However, he has characteristics of a classical hero; including flaws that make the audience relate to and feel sympathy for him. By using part of the black-and-white Genesis story which paints Satan as evil and juxtaposing a narrative which paints Satan as a sympathetic hero, Milton raises a question about morality that largely define the audience’s reaction to the story:
Overall I think in the poem “Paradise Lost” Satan’s character was meant to be more attractive to the readers so they would also be seduced by his ways. His character was meant to be more liked then he usually is in things such as the Bible. He was not necessarily meant to be looked at as the hero, but he was described in such a way that it tempted the readers to like him. Just like Satan lured people in and made them do the wrong things Milton lured in his readers to like Satan. He did such a great job that I felt sorry for Satan. But he also made us see everything from Satan view. Which basically
The most important characters in the epic poem, “Paradise Lost”, are Satan and Eve. These two characters are most responsible for the development and progression of events within the poem. Satan is the main figure throughout the vast majority of the plot. “Paradise Lost” follows Satan’s ultimately successful attempt to destroy God’s perfect creation, humanity, by forcing Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. In creating humanity, God set expectations and put in place boundaries for Adam and Eve, yet they were not particularly restrictive.
John Milton’s Paradise Lost is an epic poem that describes the fall of Satan and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Satan is the protagonist of Paradise Lost and has several characteristics in which readers may identify with him. Throughout the poem, Satan is not only a tragic hero but also the key character that drives the plot and portrays many flawed human qualities. As an angel fallen from the high esteem of God and a possessor of hubris that leads to his downfall, he represents a tragic hero but also a character in which readers may identify with.
John Milton's epic “Paradise Lost” is one that has brought about much debate since its writing. This epic tells the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, although from a different perspective than what most people usually see. Milton tells the story more through the eyes of Satan, whom most people usually consider the ultimate villain. The way in which Satan is portrayed in this story has caused speculation as to whether Satan is actually a hero in this situation. He certainly has heroic qualities throughout the story, yet still is ultimately responsible for Adam and Eve's sin. Satan can easily be classified as a hero in this story, as well as the main antagonist, depending on the viewpoint of the reader. Milton introduces Satan as an important
John Milton's epic “Paradise Lost” is one that has brought about much debate since its writing. This epic tells the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, although from a different perspective than what most people usually see. Milton tells the story more through the eyes of Satan, whom most people usually consider the ultimate villain. The way in which Satan is portrayed in this story has caused speculation as to whether Satan is actually a hero in this situation. He certainly has heroic qualities throughout the story, yet still is ultimately responsible for Adam and Eve's sin. Satan can easily be classified as a hero in this story, as well as the main antagonist, depending on the viewpoint of the
One of the most intriguing characters in the epic Paradise Lost is Satan who rebels against God and chooses to live his life on his own terms. While Satan is commonly associated with evil, John Milton portrays him sympathetically and shows uses him as a tool to demonstrate the power of free will. In Paradise Lost, Satan can be considered to be the ultimate rebel. Not only does he defy God, but he also influences others to think for themselves and to blindly follow others.