Milton's Satan Analytical Essay by netzach

Milton's Satan
An analysis of the character of Satan in John Milton's "Paradise Lost".
# 25775 | 1,594 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on May 02, 2003 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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The paper reviews John Milton?s epic poem, ?Paradise Lost,? which retells the Biblical story of the sin of Adam and Eve and through them, the fall of all of mankind at the hands of Satan and his temptations. In particular, it examines the dynamism and tragic heroism of the character of Satan, who is personified as the archenemy and antagonist of God, Adam and Eve and mankind. It discusses how Satan represented an enormous theological and artistic challenge for Milton and looks at Milton's conflict between being a deeply religious person and a committed artist and the problems that arose from attempting to "write" theological figures.

From the Paper:

"Similarly, with respect to Adam and Eve, the character of Satan towers over theirs. Their simplicity and na've stupidity render them mere pawns; they certainly lack any heroic dimension. While the reader knows them to be human and they thus should be objects of empathy, their lack of direction makes them unattractive. They are the almost passive battlefield on which the battle between God and Satan is fought. Adam's professed superiority is stated but not illustrated and Eve's submissive stupidity renders her unsympathetic. The characters are shallow. Again, with a distant, inactive God as an adversary, and with victims who are one-dimensional stooges, Satan must exhibit courage, craftiness, persuasiveness and charm to seize and engage the reader's attention."

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