Can the devil be an epic hero? This seems to be the case in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the great epic from the English Renaissance. Milton’s Satan is brave, resourceful and powerful and an excellent leader as well. Milton’s introduction of Satan shows the reader how significant Satan is to Paradise Lost. He uses Satan’s heroic qualities to his followers, and his ability to corrupt to show the thin line between good and evil. Satan was one of the highest angels in Heaven, Milton makes the reader see him as a leader and a strong influence to all in his presence. He best describes Satan’s ways when stating, “His pride/ had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host. / Of rebel angels, by whose aspiring/ To set himself in glory above his peers” (Milton Book I).
Satan’s pride was the main reason that God banned him from heaven.
Some readers consider Satan to be the hero, or protagonist, of the story, because he struggles to overcome his own doubts and weaknesses and accomplishes his goal of corrupting humankind. Satan is far from being the story’s object of admiration. But there are some qualities that make him heroic and intrigued . Satan’s fascination for us is that he is very complex. Heroes are more complex, Aristotle argued, than the classical archetype permits. They are good, appealing people who make mistakes; they are people who enjoy favor and prosperity but who are inhibited and limited by a character flaw which jeopardizes their situation and forces them to test their own competence.
He is heroic because he is persistent in pursuing what he believes to be true, which is made clear in one of the important quotes from “Paradise Lost”
“The mind is its own place, and in itself/Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven
./What matter where, if I still be the same….” (Book I, ll. 254-256).
He wants to be different, he dare to challenge god, he expresses his doubt and questions that he has because he thinks that