Satan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paradise Lost is an epic poem by 17th century English writer, John Milton. At the time of its publication it caused a lot of controversy due to its in-depth depiction of Satan around the time of The Fall of Adam and Eve. In this poem we question about parallels between Milton’s version of Satan and Milton himself. In attempt to understand these parallels we can observe the text to better understand how Milton portrayed Satan’s character. Satan’s heroic persona is heavily focused on in the first few books to display the complexity of his character and make him relatable to the reader. Also, we can see both directly and indirectly in the text how Milton is able to relate to Satan’s character in Paradise Lost. Lastly, by combining information and evidence from this epic poem, we can further distinguish what Milton is trying to convey about both Satan and God.

Satan in Milton

In more recent times, Soviet writers who wished to criticize the system, or those living in any repressive regime, always wrote in such a way that it appeared on the surface that they were towing the party line- only the reflective would grasp that actually the subtext of their work was a violent denial of it all. It seems likely that Milton was doing the same. And yet, the fact is that most people read literature and indeed receive any art form on a surface level; they so often 'don't get' what the artist is really trying to convey. And so images of satan being hurled over the battlements of Heaven remain in the popular consciousness as a result of Milton's epic and graphic story about 'satan'. As Neil Forsyth concludes: "So compelling is the character of Satan in Paradise Lost that generations of English speakers, knowing their Milton better than their Bible, have assumed that Christianity teaches an elaborate story about the fall of the angels after a war in heaven, and have been surprised to find no mention of Satan in the Book of Genesis" (6). G.B. Caird concludes likewise: "The Bible knows nothing of the fall of Satan familiar to readers of Paradise Lost" (7). Whether these authorities agree or not isn't of course the point; but I reference them to show that the thesis developed throughout this book is not original, and that many respected scholars and thinkers have come to similar conclusions.

Satan (Hebrew: שָּׂטָן satan, ..

SparkNotes: Paradise Lost: Analysis of Major Characters

SparkNotes: Paradise Lost: Plot Overview

Paradise Lost Quotes by John Milton