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Satan In Paradise Lost Essay

1949 words - 8 pages

Satan’s character in Paradise Lost can be seen as a hero in some cases. Most people would be completely shocked at the mere thought of Gods fallen angel being a hero in any sense of the word. However, in this work by John Milton, Satan can be seen as the major protagonist. The question most people will ask is why. Why do people find such pleasure in analyzing Satan’s character? One of the major reasons could be the depth of the character; he is such a round character with so many likable traits that make him stand out from the others. Satan has been classified as one of literatures most dynamic and complicated characters and for good reason.
Before one could understand the motifs of the character Satan, that person must know the basic plot of Paradise Lost. Satan was God’s highest ranking angel and ruled Heaven alongside God. Everything was running smoothly until Satan decided he wanted to rule Heaven by himself. Satan wanted all the power for himself and refused to rule under someone. Satan banded other angels to be his followers of the movement only to be shafted by God’s almighty power. God sentenced Satan and the other angels to a place called Hell. God later sent a man and a woman named Adam and Eve to Earth to observe how humans would act and also to see if they would obey him. Adam and Eve reacted to the Garden of Eden just like any other person would. He viewed the Earth as absolutely beautiful, even more beautiful than Heaven. God told Adam and Eve to enjoy the garden, but do not eat the forbidden fruit. They lived happily until Satan decided to test the humans so that he could potentially get them to go against God’s wishes. He deceitfully talked Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and by doing this he doomed the human race to sin and debauchery. God lost all trust in the human race and knew that humans would not praise him. Satan shows his true intelligence by doing this because now he has won a battle against God.
The poem Paradise Lost brought up many questions concerning what side Milton was taking in his poem. Many believe he meant for people to identify with Satan as being a hero. On the other hand, some more religious people are furious that his work made it look like their God was the bad guy. When you take such a recognizable presence such as the Christian God and make a public work that can be seen as sacrilegious, you can expect many people to become heated. Satan and his followers tried to bring down God’s kingdom which is unfeasible. For punishment, God sentenced Satan and his followers to Hell for the rest of eternity. It is hard not to feel the smallest bit of sympathy for Satan as he awakes in Hell chained to a burning river of lava. If you were to give a person who was completely oblivious to the Christian bible and its stories, who would he sympathize with once he got to Satan’s rebellion? In most cases, he/she would follow the path of God. The same can not be said about Paradise Lost. Milton wrote it in such a way...

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