Paradise Lost

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Tyler Hands
Mr. Colvard
Humanities 11CP
11/15/12
Hell’s Hero
Heroism is a word thrown around throughout any day and age but the age old question is what makes a ‘Hero’? By Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, “The tragic hero is a character of noble stature and has greatness…the hero’s downfall, is partially hers/his own fault…the punishment exceeds the crime.” (“Aristotle” I) Throughout Milton’s Paradise Lost, he tries to justify the ways of God to Man (I. 122) and in his attempt one of the prominent characters comes to light as a tragic hero. In Paradise Lost, Satan was a tragic hero, based on Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, particularly his high position, fault, and punishment.

Conspiring plans against God portrays Satan to be evil and only evil, but before his fall and final punishment occurred Satan was one of God’s own angels, proclaimed high among the heavenly host. As one of the first archangels, possibly the first, and foremost favored and powerful, Satan, or previously known as Lucifer, stood in heaven as all the other angels did, eternal and good (V. 658-661). Even all of the heavenly host found Lucifer’s voice to be superior, his name to be great, and his degree in heaven to be high (V. 705-707). Obviously such a begotten being has a considerably high status position, holding both the utmost nobility and stature, only to be under the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Having established such respect whilst in heaven, Lucifer had gathered many followers under him and after the following events, he and his followers fell greatly because of Lucifer’s decisions.

Regrettably, Lucifer’s actions in heaven caused his own fall along with all his other followers. As great as he was, Lucifer could not bear the rule of the Son, Messiah, and King anointed, honored by his great Father (V. 662-664). Lucifer felt impaired and envious (V. 662, 665). Despising the Son led Lucifer to muster a flock of angels under him equal to one-third of the...
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