Essay about Satan in Paradise Lost and The Myth of Sisyphus

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Satan's predicament after he falls in Paradise Lost is utterly hopeless, yet he chooses to persevere. He reasons that he should continue to struggle, even though he is aware that it is entirely in vain. The process he follows to arrive at this choice is similar to the process Albert Camus will use to justify the unrelenting toil of his 'absurd man.' Before this becomes apparent, portions of Satan as a character must be eliminated from consideration, because they present an intractable set of problems. Prior to his rebellion, Satan is a divine being, who "stood'st in Heav'n, upright and pure," (IV, 936-37) like God and the other angels. We do not get a clear portrayal of this character, only Satan's and Raphael's memories and …show more content…
Once Satan has been irredeemably dammed, however, he becomes an entirely different character. He becomes essentially human, in that he simply is a conscious being who exists and has the choice to either continue to exist, or give up, without any external evidence to give him a justification for continuing. It is unclear whether suicide is actually an option for him. Since his continued existence is at God's pleasure, we could say it is not Satan's choice at all, but then everything Satan does is ultimately at God's pleasure. And God has given him free will, whatever that means. It is sufficient to say that Satan does have the option to choose to want to die, event if he might actually be able to carry out this act. But he does not choose that, nor does he choose to see take the certainty that his predicament can not really improve as a reason to just quit trying. Where does he get his justification for this choice? He has to make it up from whole cloth. The objective evidence says there is no point. He ignores this, and instead invents a purpose for himself. Once he has succeeded in convincing himself to go on, he as solved the problem of the absurd man, and may presumably continue to apply this same solution indefinitely. He may fail and fail, but that changes nothing. He began in failure and hopelessness, and
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