Evil’s origin begins with Adam and Eve using their special gift, free will, to commit the first sin. They sinned because they were tempted from the free will to choose between following or disobeying God’s orders. Paradise Lost is an epic written by John Milton that describes the fallen angel Satan and the fall of man. The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoevsky is about an archbishop who talks with Jesus and wants to burn him as a heretic. Paradise Lost and The Grand Inquisitor both discuss free will and the stories of two benevolent characters that use their free will to choose evil. In Paradise Lost and The Grand Inquisitor, the main characters Satan and the Grand Inquisitor are evil because they use free will to choose evil over good.
Satan and the Grand Inquisitor at first follow the path of righteousness before they became poisoned with evil. They are both supporters that were deeply pledged to God in similar ways. Satan was an important angel as described by the dialogue between Archangel Raphael and Adam.
“Satan, so call him now, his former name
Is hear no more in Heav’n; he of the first,
If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,
In favour and preeminence,” (Milton, 658-661, Book V)
By being one of God’s most illustrious angels, Satan proves his devotion towards God by serving him. He is so zealous that he desires to be God’s only second in command. Similarly, Satan’s dedication to God is like the Grand Inquisitor’s. The Grand Inquisitor served God as a follower and preacher of his word. “It’s long— eight centuries— since we have been on his side and not on Thine” (Dostoevsky, 238) The Grand Inquisitor, like the Church’s predecessors, followed God’s word and Jesus for a long time before they abandoned God and Jesus to follow Satan. The Grand Inquisitor spent an enormous amount of time during his life choosing obedience towards God. His perseverance to serve God’s word makes him very similar to Satan. Both Satan and the Grand Inquisitor brandished how they were virtuous supporters.
Once benevolent beings, Satan and the Grand Inquisitor soon turns toward evil. Satan and the Grand Inquisitor’s plight from good to evil begin with their desire for power. In the case with Satan, he desires to overthrow God’s kingdom and make it his own. Satan is prideful and ambitious and decides to attempt overthrowing God.
“If he opposed; and with ambitious aim
against the throne and monarchy of God,
raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud.” (Milton, 41-43, Book I).
By defying God, Satan conveys a message that says he wants God’s throne. His desire for power turns him into an evil...