John Milton's Paradise Lost

863 Words Jun 21st, 2018 4 Pages
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: …show more content…
One of these obstacles is Satan’s insecurity; he encounters moments of weakness along the pathway to glory, but he recognizes them and grows stronger in his resolve, like a true classical hero. For example, when Satan enters Eden he is amazed by its beauty. Again he considers repenting to God but he justifies the bitterness he feels as foretelling of evil actions he intends to commit on humans (and snakes). Additionally, he has to justify the reason he rebelled once again and convince himself that he is hell and, “in the lowest deep a deeper deep / still threatening to devour me opens wide / to which the hell I suffer seems a heaven,” he is happier now than he was in Heaven (4.1-78). He goes on to say that he will feel no fear or shame in doing evil because evil is his good (4.104-113). Satan accomplishes his goal of tempting Eve to evil against God, and so slithers victoriously back to Hell. When he reaches Hell, he is treated like a king by his followers.
Satan has a relationship with his “evil” followers much like a king to his noble subjects (or God to his followers). This is especially evident in lines 436-459, when Satan appears like a commoner until he ascends his throne and is suddenly clad in glory. The hundreds of thousands of demons are all condensed around the capital of Hell, waiting with bated breath for “their great adventurer from the search / of foreign worlds,” “whom they wished beheld, /
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