Two Types of Satan

Topics: Divine Comedy, Hell, Virgil Pages: 3 (917 words) Published: April 27, 2008
Two Types of Satan
In both the Inferno and Paradise Lost there are two diverse and unique portrayals of Satan, the fallen angel. Both are viewed in different senses, one as a hateful beastly being and the other as an intellectual being and possibly a hero. When it comes to the depiction of Satan, Dante and Milton exercise different means of how to accomplish that objective. Dante depicts Satan as a contrapasso and another of the damned souls that stands in the way of the Pilgrim and his final test of sin, while Milton gives Satan a likeable role which shows reader a different side of Satan never surveyed by any other poet. For Dante Satan is a representation or a stepping stone in sin while for Milton, Satan is a justification for his means to defining heroism.

Within the Inferno, Dante has a different means of depicting Satan and sin in general. Throughout the Divine Comedy he illustrates how to overcome sin and the steps that he must take to fully understand sin when it comes to the type of virtuous life one is suppose to live. By the time he reaches the Devil, Dante has been through all the circles of Hell and is now just beginning to understand the essence of sin. Once he observes Satan he, sees that the Devil is too a damned soul serving his time in the distinct form of a contrapasso. Satan is frozen in place by his own fury; with his wings flapping uncontrollably they keep him frozen. Like the rest of the Inferno, Satan is merely another step that the Pilgrim must take in order to properly cleanse his own soul and to fully understand sin in its truest of forms. Dante depicts Satan this way for many reasons, one of which is to show that Satan and sin itself is something to be overcome and tamed. Throughout the Inferno, the Pilgrim is able to conquer all types of sin from lust to murder. Each circle gives reason to believe that it is a piece of the Pilgrims’ soul that is now able to become cleansed and is stronger against the temptation that is sin. As he...
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