Satan: The True Hero of Paradise Lost by Milton Essay

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Satan: The True Hero of Paradise Lost by Milton

The identity of the true protagonist in Paradise Lost is a mystery. One would gather that Milton, a Puritan, would have no problem casting God as the hero, and Satan as the antagonist. However, looking back in history, Milton saw that most epic heroes had conflicts that prevented them from accomplishing their goals. God and his Son have no conflict, and Adam’s story does not really begin until the Fall of Man. Therefore, Milton was forced to select Satan as the hero of Paradise Lost because he adheres to the guidelines of epic poetry set by Homer, Virgil and others. There are many examples of how Milton uses and edits the tradition of these previous epics in the formation of the Devil as
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(106-109,116-124)" Beelzebub, perhaps showing signs of little faith in his leader (like Odysseus’ crew), raises some important questions. "What if he our Conqueror, (whom I now of force believe Almighty, since no less than such could have o’erpow’r’d such force as ours) have Garcia 3 left us this our spirit and strength entire strongly to suffer and support our pains, that we may so suffice his vengeful ire, or do him mightier service as his thralls by right of War, whate’er his business be, here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire, Or to do his errands in the gloomy Deep; What can it then avail though yet we feel Strength undiminisht, or eternal being to undergo eternal punishment?(143-155)" Satan, as any good leader would, quickly allays his companion’s fear with more speech. During the speech, Satan casts doubts about God’s supremacy and boldly states that they are better off where they are, "Here at least we shall be free… Here we may reign secure…Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven. (258-263)" Beelzebub is taken aback by Satan’s words and awakens all of the fallen angels. Once Satan has their attention, he rouses these fallen angels with another speech, asking "How such united force of Gods, how such stood like these, could ever know repulse? For who can yet believe, though after loss, that all these puissant Legions, whose exile hath emptied Heav’n, shall fail to re-ascend
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