Satan in "Paradise Lost"
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This paper discusses how John Milton was an extremely religious man who believed strongly in obeying God and therefore, would never support the devil. The paper contends that "Paradise Lost" was intended as a political statement, in which, by using Satan as the unlikely hero trying to rise up against the one who is all powerful, he was denouncing the monarchy in existing power while painting himself and the other dissenters in a positive light. It looks at how, through this reversal of roles between God and the Devil as well as between good and evil, Milton is able to justify his political beliefs, through the use of an extremely political Heaven and Hell, by proving that England could continue its successful existence without the support of the King, just as Satan was able to stand alone without the aid and support of God.
From the Paper:"Modern critics are not the only ones to have re-read and analyzed Milton's works. In fact, as far back as the early nineteenth century the Romantics began to try to decipher the meaning behind Paradise Lost, strongly supporting the theory that Satan was portrayed as the central heroic character in the epic. Their beliefs had a tremendous influence on English literature and culture. The first to ever publish this belief was John Dryden in 1697 and this popular idea continues to reign as the thesis to many great authors' analyses and criticisms even today, a few centuries after Milton's death. C.S. Lewis, however, had a slightly different take on Dryden's definition of hero. Stressing that he did not see Satan as the wicked being depicted in the Bible, he still claimed that Dryden did not intend to describe the devil in the same sense of the word hero that we use today. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Milton, John, Paradise Lost, (Penguin Classics, 2003.)
- B. Rajan, Paradise Lost and the Seventeenth Century Reader (London: Chatto & Windus London, 1947).
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defense of Poetry (1821).
- Lewis, C.S., A Preface to Paradise Lost, (London: New York Oxford University Press, 1961).
Cite this Poem Review:
Satan in "Paradise Lost" (2008, April 13) Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/satan-in-paradise-lost-103054/
"Satan in "Paradise Lost"" 13 April 2008. Web. 18 June. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/satan-in-paradise-lost-103054/>