The Deception of Satan
Satan was a powerful angel who, after being thrown into hell, used his powers to deceive God's newly created beings, Adam and Eve. These characters are perceived as innocent and vulnerable creatures, who could be easily influenced. What better way to get revenge on God than to tempt His most prized possessions? Satan uses his power of deceiving rhetoric to mislead his followers. He then deceives Eve with the same kind of rhetoric. Satan's tone changes between the speech to the council and the speech to Eve. We are introduced to Satan as a heroic figure. As the poem goes on his character loses his greatness and falls to that of a creature. Satan lusts after of God's powers and wants to possess them himself. "But I should ill become this throne, O Peers, An this imperial sov'reignty, adorned with splendor, armed with power, if aught proposed, and judged of public moment"(II. 445). He admires God's excellence and is willing to stop at nothing to obtain this level of greatness. In addition of Satan being so great and heroic, Milton gives the readers a sense that Satan is constantly suffering. Satan explains that the more pleasures he sees, the more torment he feels. He doesn't want to live on earth or in heaven, though he wants to make others experience the same pain that ails him. He explains, "only in destroying I find ease to my restless thoughts," (IX.129) stressing that with his intensity of ambition he'll stop at nothing for revenge. Milton shows the greatness of Satan but at the same time his anguish. When Satan first addresses the council he is met with a variety of options in his pursuit of the throne. With a boastful tone, he volunteers himself for this task to deceive Adam and Eve. This would be our first encounter with his deception. He makes his followers believe that he is electing himself gratefully to do this task, but the whole time it is what he intended. He claims he would not deserve to be their...
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