Satan in Paradise Lost

Topics: The Reader, Paradise Lost, John Milton Pages: 3 (874 words) Published: April 2, 2013
Seeing Satan in a different light in Paradise Lost
Satan is a character that has been ridiculed and teased in our modern world because of his symbolization of evil, combined with the underlying hypothesis that good will always triumph over evil ultimately questioning and mocking his presence. In Paradise Lost John Milton frays from the typical view of Satan as the devil-on-your-shoulder by having the readers absorbed in the idea that they actually feel sympathetic towards this evil creature. Within lines 605-645 in Book 1 Milton humanizes Satan on a level that the readers can relate, which aids to their view of sympathy towards him. These lines establish a struggle within Satan and illustrate his banishment from Heaven, which brought him to the path he is on now. Some may argue that this road where Satan strives to be better suits him in the category as a hero character of the narrative because he is always trying to accomplish a tasking feat that is out of reach.

In order to examine lines 605-645 the reader must closely examine the events a few lines back. Milton describes Satan as someone who “Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost/All his Original brightness, nor appear'd” (1.591-2). This simile is very vague when describing someone who is supposed to represent a solid powerful being. There is no way to tell what definitive size a Tower is as they come in all shapes. It is important to also note how Satan’s “brightness” diminished, which alludes to his fallen strength. These two descriptions of Satan implies that there is no actual respect for Satan, that he is of any size suggesting that there is always a taller tower and that he holds no brightness. This image results in the question of why does Satan actually matter compared to those who hold brightness. Here is where the readers may start to pity Satan, because of the sadness behind these descriptions Satan to becomes relatable to the reader. The power struggle between God and Satan continues in...
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