Is Satan A Hero Or Villain?

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Is Satan a Hero or a Villain? An Analysis of Milton’s Paradise Lost The heroic qualities of Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost are overwhelmingly masked by his ‘satanic’ and villainous acts which qualify his character to fall into a category of villain rather than hero. Paradise Lost is an epic poem and like all epic poems, requires an epic hero with a tragic flaw. The tragic flaws of Satan are too prominent and effectual to call him an epic hero, but rather these flaws, or evil characteristics, carry any title of epic hero which he may have formerly obtained to the ninth circle of hell. In other words, the possibility of Satan to be a hero within Milton’s perception of Genesis chapter three is completely obscene in the face of his overwhelming hate and disdain for the light. But how are these flaws, referred to as evil characteristics from here on, applicable to Paradise Lost and what are the flaws? Essentially, flaws can be stemmed from motivations, and for Milton’s poem, the motivations of Satan and his evil characteristics are one in the same. The protagonist of every story, in this case Satan who is more of an antagonist, has motives that are quite relatable to many people. Satan reveals these motives all in the span of 28 lines in Book I of Paradise Lost. Motivations lead people to do things, such as in the case of Milton himself. What caused him to write this acclaimed poem? It was surely a type of motivation or conviction. As is the case with Satan in the story,
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