Pride of Paradise Lost’s Satan and Dr Faustus
“Pride and worse ambition threw me down"(4.40) says Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This short and simple confession hides several deep meanings and significant messages to humankind. That is because it is not only Satan who stumbles by the sin of pride. Satan is the tempter and foe of mankind, and he imposes his own ill traits on mankind while trying to draw him to the depths of hell. That is, like Satan human may think highly of himself though he is not. In Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus presents an impressive example of how limitless human is in swelling with pride. Pride was a common theme during Renaissance and, both Milton and Marlowe demonstrated how it can lead a catastrophe. Pride is the reason why both Satan and Doctor Faustus turns against God, cannot repent despite their regret, and eventually destructed and punished by God.
Firstly, it is pride, their common trait, which leads Satan in Doctor Faustus to rebel against God. When we look at Satan’s situation he is in the Heaven as well as other angels, so what makes him to be fallen from there? God creates Son and makes him His most favorite one, and puts him in a higher position than Satan and other angels are. This is the point when Satan becomes Satan. He is jealous of Son because his pride makes him suppose that he should be the superior, the most beloved and valued. In lines 686-690 (Book 6), he says, “for they weened/ That selfsame day by fight, or by surprise/ To win the Mount of God, and on His throne/ To set the envier of His State, the proud /Aspirer”. These lines are an example of how his pride makes him an “aspirer” to God. However, we can see his desire for superiority when he, disguised as a serpent, and trying to deceive Eve; he says, “Look on me! /Me who have touched and tasted yet both live /And life more perfect have attained than fate /Meant me, by vent'ring higher than my Lot." He teems with the...
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