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Morality and Will Power in Lucifer in Starlight by George Meredith

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"Lucifer in Starlight," written by George Meredith, concerns the differences between nominalism and realism in terms of morality and will power. The central theme of this poem revolves around the notion that Lucifer has no place other than hell, and any attempts at returning to heaven is impractical. Meredith combines irony, along with his own distinctive tone and style, to portray his idea of natural law. As with any poem, the title can sometimes be a reference to other works of fiction, the Bible, mythology, or famous figures. In this instance, it's the Bible. Lucifer was a defiant archangel who was forsakened by God and banished from heaven. The title, "Lucifer in Starlight," is not a reference to an uprising in hell, but rather a…show more content…
Lucifer is able to relate to Adam in the hopes of being forgiven and given the right to return to heaven. "Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those" (5). He observes those who will soon be apart of his domain and soon peers at the most extreme regions of Earth. "And now upon his western wing he leaned, Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careened, Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows" (6-8). In the Bible, it states that the promise of Christ will come from the East, implying that perhaps Lucifer will come from the other side. Lucifer is essentially floating on the seas of the "rolling ball," which is again referring to Earth, on a "bulk," or ship. In the previous line, he was flying in the skies peering through the clouds, and has now made his descent onto Earth. His journey ends as his ship turns over on the sands of Africa. The "black planet" is Lucifer. The shadow of the planet, hell and darkness, has darkened the snowy, white regions of the arctic. The evil (black) is covering what is good (white); Lucifer is attempting a take over. "With memory of the old revolt from Awe, He reached a middle height, and at the stars, Which are the brain of heaven, he looked, and sank" (10-12). Memories of his past flood through his mind and remembers his fall from heaven as he rises. Although he doesn't rise up as far as he had hoped, he makes it as far as the stars. He has failed his descent God. The stars resemble the brain of heaven, and thus
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