Who Can Blame The Poor Little Demon?

1596 Words7 Pages
or not to eat an apple from the forbidden tree. Milton’s makes Satan an interesting character, almost a hero, although unwilling to repent, simply seeking his rightful place and when he cannot, and will not, he goes after God’s prized creations. Who can blame the poor little demon?
Aren’t we accustomed to routing for the underdog? Milton gives Satan the gift of gab, intelligence and our viewpoint, which makes us see his point of view.
"Of all the poets who have introduced into their works the agency of supernatural beings," says McColley, "Milton has succeeded best"
(McColley 71; emphasis added).

Evidence for this can be seen as the action of the entire epic unfolds. In Book III, when Christ is introduced and is observing the
…show more content…
"Myself am Hell," he says later (IV, 75), but continues his initiative partially out of the potential for mortification among his fellow devils, and partially because he anticipates that his own egotism would resurface predictably:
"For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc 'd so deep" (IV, 98-9).

Satan has made the bed of his deviant divinity through his actions, and now he is obliged to lie in it. For Milton, Satan was the archetypal tyrant. His reign in hell is the express antitype of the reign of the Son of God by merit in Heaven. It is not the courage of Satan 's revolt against God that counts; it is the ambition which betrays him into what Arnold Stein calls "the trap of leadership" (Hughes 179).
Another contrast we find is the manner in which Milton’s interjects similarities to Greek Mythology, such as representing Satan as a type of Prometheus. Prometheus bears undoubtedly a considerable resemblance to the Satan of Milton. In both characters we find the same impatience of control, the same ferocity, the same unconquerable pride. In both characters also are mingled, though in very different proportions, some kind and generous feelings. Prometheus, however, is hardly superhuman enough. Satan is a creature of another sphere. The might of his intellectual nature is victorious over the
Open Document