Satan In Paradaise Lost And Dante's Inferno

1738 words - 7 pages

After God created the Earth and mankind, all was right in the Holy kingdom. That is until, a friend, the bearer of light, the morning star fell in battle and ultimately in darkness. This fateful battle made true everything we know and live now. Milton and Dante play on this every concept in two very different ways, for Milton a cunning reflection of man and for Dante an animalisitic dunce. Milton and Dante use the Bible stories as a backdrop for their epic poems of love and of loss wherein a single unique character, a bearer of light is made to reverberate humanity and the supreme basic darkness that is the soul of man, one can note these key elements vis-a-vis his appearance, domain and the influence of Lucifer.

Since the every dawn of time, man has had to make swift judgements. The main point of all judgement is appearance and such this is most logical place to start. Appearance plays a rather crucial role in the works under the scope of this essay. Firstly, in Paradise Lost one should note that a reoccurring theme of: “its better to rule in Hell then be a servant in Heaven,” (Milton.I.263) makes a few significant points regarding make aspects into the neosis of Satan, but more so the appearance of Satan. The line in itself causes one to believe that he hath experienced both dominions in the physical and may further lead us to the pathogenesis and origins on this fallen Angel. However Milton gives us a contrasting view of the Devil compared to Dante. “He stood like a tower; his form not yet lost. All her original brightness, nor appeared less then archangel ruined and the excess of glory obscured.” (Milton.I.591-599) This description leads to the all important grandeur of Lucifer. Dante takes us to completely Devil, a devil that has: “three heads.” (Dante.34.422-423) Dante takes the beast to a frozen Hell, where is his in a state total remorse but to vestigial to speak. This causes one to feel almost sorry for poor thing. The use of appearance, as mentioned above takes on an important role, to which both Milton and Dante use to their advantage to create a great deal of emotion in the reader.

In addition to the appearance of Lucifer and the largest difference in the works, is the dominion of Hell. When one thinks of Hell, one might be prone to imagine lakes of fire, a “horrible dungeon.” (Milton.I.60) This view of Hell is often revealed as the classical Hell, as it is connexion with Holy Scripture. Should one further subscribe Milton goes on to, add an additional element to this Hell. Milton describes the light or rather so the lack of light in hell: “from those flames light but rather darkness visible.” (Milton.I.62)Thought the description is contrary to thought, the known essence of light is God, the giver of life and in a place wherein God is not present should be illuminated by him. Dante has taken a much different approach to Hell, a Hell considered far worse to most, a Hell of ice: “he believed that it was an endless...

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