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John Milton: A View Of Evil Vs. Ignorance

1105 words - 5 pages

When a person hears Satan, a streak of fear, and the thought of evil arises. People fear Satan, and think of him as evil, but in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, he displays a thought of the Father being the evil being, and Satan a tragic hero. In Paradise Lost, Book 1 and 2, the minor areas where God is shown, He is displayed as hypocritical. He contradicts himself by creating the humans to be of free will, but when Satan displays free will, he is shunned. Satan could be described in many terms, and by many people, but all can be disputed. According to my sources, Satan is displayed as the hero, while God is the evil deity, and Milton was wrong for writing Him as so. In this essay, I will show my thoughts on the subject of Satan as an evil deity, and other’s opinions on the matter.
Satan is thought of as the tragic hero in Book 1 and 2 of Paradise Lost because he is shunned by God for trying to overthrow Him, and being ambitious enough to think he could be God. Satan, in my opinion, is not as much an evil individual, but more juvenile, and ignorant. He is displayed as juvenile because of his intentions to defeat God in Book 1, and in Book 2, when he comes up with the plan to corrupt God’s creation. He is ignorant in being that he actually believes that if God did not have thunder, then he could have easily defeated God. He continued to show ignorance by going behind God’s back, and trying to conquer him in childish ways.
Milton wrote Satan as a hero, because he was very influenced by the English Civil War during that time. During the English Civil War, Milton was on the side of the Puritans led by Cromwell against King Charles. He thought of King Charles as a tyrant that needed to be stopped, and Cromwell as the hero that had to conquer the evil tyrant. Satan is much like Cromwell because of how ambitious they both were in taking over either Heaven or England. The main difference between Satan and Cromwell would be the tyrants they decided to defeat. King Charles was overthrown because of his influence on the country religion, and how the country was ran, and God created mankind, and gave them the choice of free will and not the angels, leading Satan to be juvenile, and jealous. “Satan is a portrait of rebellion gone wrong, but not of the wrongs of rebellion” (Bryson). Cromwell later diminished, and Charles II was bestowed to King of England, while Satan is still trying to destroy all of God’s creations, and diminish their good moral, and qualities.
According to Woodman, “Evil, as presented by Milton, may be defined as a rebellion against the hierarchy of God’s creation.”, but in my opinion, evil is being immoral and vicious. Satan could be described as evil, but because of his reasons to be evil towards God, I don’t really believe he is evil. He is a spoiled, broken child that wants to get back at the deity that wronged him. His entire existence is to seek revenge on God for throwing him and his apostles out of heaven, and shunning them into...

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