Dante Vs. Milton Essay

885 words - 4 pages

Hell is a place full of wonder and mystery. No one is quite sure as to what it is like, but many people have an opinion as to the mystery that is the dark underworld. Hell is a place one would imagine with suffering and punishment for the damned, ruled by Satan. Satan is almost as much of a mystery as Hell is. There are many images that give an idea as to what Satan may look like, but no one is true certain of the real face of the beast. Many people have theorized the structure of Hell, but two poets have captured two centralized ideas of how Hell is set up and the images of what Satan may look like. Dante Alighieri and John Milton have created two different yet universal depictions of Hell and Satan. Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet who based some of his book after Milton, The Inferno was a literary piece who depicted Hell as many levels and Satan as a suffering monster. Whereas John Milton, an English poet, showed Hell as a dungeon beneath the Earth created to imprison Satan for his betrayal against God. These two poets had very different opinions on Satan and Hell, but also showed similarities in their description of the two.
In both poems Satan is depicted as a once beautiful angel, who then betrayed God and became a hideous monster. In Paradise Lost Satan is seen as a large and powerful being. He is still strong even after betraying God and rebelling against him. Satan was very angry and set on rising up again to defeat God. He felt as though it would be more shameful to beg for forgiveness rather than continue to fight against God. When he was punished he decide to continue to do evil no matter what saying, “The mind is its own place, and in itself/Can make a Heaven of Hell. A Hell of Heaven.” Satan believed one day he could defeat God and he would not stop until he did. In contrast, in Dante’s Inferno, Satan looked very defeated. Satan was being punished for his sins against God, but with this punishment he did not have the strength to rise again and fight. “He wept from his six eyes, and down three chins/The tears ran mixed with bloody froth and pus.” Satan was depicted as a great and large monster in Dante’s Inferno, but he also was shown as broken of spirit and body. He did not show any desire to rise once again for evil. Milton viewed Satan as a powerful being set on revenge and uprising, while Dante portrayed Satan as a defeated sinner....

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