Satan: Rebel or Hero?

Topics: Epic poetry, Paradise Lost, John Milton Pages: 3 (1122 words) Published: April 14, 2010
John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost, has had numerous, diverse evaluations and translations. Milton's objective in composing it was to explicate the storyline of Adam and Eve. Even though the epic is like the biblical story in some regard, Milton's character arrangement deviates from that of the Bible's story. All through the epic, Milton illustrates the characters in the manner he imagines they are. In Paradise Lost, Milton depicts Satan as someone with heroic and insubordinate characteristics, but it becomes clear that Satan is not a hero. 

 To demonstrate how major Satan is to Paradise Lost, Milton begins with an introduction of Satan. He utilizes Satan's valiant traits to his supporters, and his depravity capability to present the fine line between the virtuous and the wicked. Satan, who was called Lucifer, was a highly regarded angel in Heaven. This proves that he was formerly upstanding. The reader views Satan as a powerfully authoritative leader to all in his company. Milton illustrates Satan's behavior when saying, "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, 4). Arrogance was the chief cause why God banished Satan from Heaven. Satan constantly attempted to be the person in charge, instead of abiding God’s rules. He could have made a living in Paradise eternally, but his rebellious feelings were too strong as he declares, "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" (Milton, 31). This demonstrates how keen he felt about not being below fellow angels. 

 Multiple happenings like the previously mentioned ones are used as persuasion to see Satan as a hero. Satan is seen as the central and smartest angel. Satan is recognized as the second most powerful under God who has the most power. Before Satan chooses to renounce his current lifestyle and defy God, he was one of the most alluring and clever angels in heaven. Even though Satan was attractive, the main...

Cited: Hamilton, George Rostrevor. Hero or Fool? A Study of Milton 's Satan. London: G. Allen and Uwin Ltd., 1944.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost: Books I and II. Boston: Ginn, Heath, Pc Co., 1883.
Weber, Burton Jasper. The Constitution of Paradise Lost. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971.
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