Running head: PARADISE LOST
Milton’s Paradise Lost
Milton’s Paradise Lost
Milton’s Paradise Lost is an illustration o various kindso characters. The heroic tale is written in a way that readers candierentiate the evil and good characters. They must use theirpersonal interpretations to ascertain whom they consider to be goodor evil based on preexisting knowledge and experience. In careullyconsidering Milton’s Paradise Lost, it would appear as ithe author portrayed God as the protagonist while Satan is theantagonist. However, in looking at the choice o words used by Satan,I would assume that he is the protagonist rather than an antagonist.Also, Milton successully uses a language that subjects the readerinto sympathizing with Satan.
Lewis and Gross
According to Kenneth Gross, Satan is the ascination since he is theclearly sketched out character. Further, he is o the opinion thatSatan relates more to humans. Because o the same, there is muchemphasis on how he was treated. Gross reiterates that Satan is toblame or the woes that beell him. Gross identiies that Satan is toblame or the problems that he encountered. Similarly, Lewisidentiies that the readers sympathize with Satan since it is a wayo admitting the evil that is within them. According to Lewis,readers recognize in Satan the evil that is characteristic o them.Further, Lewis states that an individual would ind it comortable toconcur with the other person or as long as they have something incommon.
I think it would be prudent to sympathize with Satan based on how hewas treated. Satan has been banished rom his original home andcheated through interdiction. The decision to have him leave hisrightul home could subject him to misery. He has to contend withdierent issues he encounters all by himsel. Further, being chasedout o his original home could have exposed him to a state oconusion since he had to igure how he would survive the dierentchallenges he was likely going to ace. Because o the circumstanceshe aces, he decides to devise a plan that one could view as asurvival or retaliatory tactic. I think his decision to embark ontraveling back to heaven to regain what he had lost is justiiedbecause o the manner in which he was treated.
Satan can be considered the underdog based on how events transpire inthe tale. In Paradise Lost, God can be viewed as beingstronger than Satan. The all o Satan can be attributed to the actthat he has been imperiled into a state where he does not have thepower and authority to execute any deeds. The decision to act in themanner in which he did can be attributed to the act he wasestablishing himsel. It is the weakness that Satan possesses thatmakes me sympathetic to him. He laments
“How glorious once above thy sphere/ till pride and worseambition threw me down/ Warring in Heaven against heavens matchlessking” (IV: 39-41)
Further, the sympathy emanates rom the act that Satan can be linkedto the less ortunate in the society. Typically, I would agree to theact that the misortunes o those coming rom lower social classesare portrayed by Satan. He does not have much authority or himseland ends up being the one mistreated. It is appreciative toacknowledge that despite the misortunes that he is subjected to,Satan manages to overcome the tribulations and emerge victorious. Hesucceeds in deeating and cheating his way back to the Garden o Edenwhere he deceives both Eve and Adam. Initially, Satan used to enjoythe treasures o heaven, a place described as being wonderul with nocare. However, Satan is chased out and ends up in a “dungeonhorrible place”. He lives in a place that is dark and ull olames. The challenges aced by Satan would make one signiicantlyconsider whether Satan is in the wrong. He aces diiculties havingchased out o heaven. I think it is Sad that he has to deal with thetribulations ater leaving the treasures o heaven.
Satan deserves sympathy as he is depicted as having a weaker mind.The character is described as having traits likened to that o achild. Throughout the heroic tale, it is evident that Satan ails tounderstand why he is the one to be mistreated. I would agree that themanner in which he was treated was uncalled or. He was the greatesto all the angels. Despite God being superior, it was unair thatSatan had to be subjected to the tribulations he underwent. It wasunortunate that he had to ace the wrath o God despite beingdescribed as one o the best angels. The humiliation he suerednegates the need or anyone to sympathize with him. Also, it is sadthat despite the eorts he put toward restoring his status, the armyhe leveled against those o God ailed to emerge victoriously. He ischased out o heaven. Satan continues to be caught in his delusionswhile losing the capacity to distinguish what he believed was rightand wrong. I think it would have been air to have him be given asecond chance. Probably, he should have been given an opportunity toexplain himsel and elaborate his intentions. A air hearing or hiscase would have been easible since it would not portray him as thevillain. However, in Paradise Lost, Milton disregards thesection. Satan deteriorates and weakens in spirit. It is evident thathe is unable to content with the change o status.
Satan has witnessed a signiicant level o deterioration on hiscondition. I would sympathize with him since he has been degraded.Satan has been tortured to the extent that he ends up being the kingo serpents. From the high stature he had as head and most adorableangels, he is reduced to the stature o the leader o the serpent.Evidently, such kind o treatment is dehumanizing and uncalled or.He has been subjected to a state where he has nothing except ash toeat and never stand up. The manipulation and degradation encounteredby Satan make it diicult or one to think otherwise about hisdecision to revenge against how he was treated. It is sad that he hadto undergo all the mistreatment despite the stature he previouslyheld. Further, it is unortunate that the ailure he is undergoingwas way beyond him. It appears as i things were out o his control.I think it would be justiied or him to act in the manner that hedid just to see to it that he regains his stature. Also, I believethat it was right or him to use knowledge to create suspicionregarding the overall issue o God being omniscient. Even thoughMilton I Paradise Lost seeks to illustrate that God wasjustiied in his actions towards men, the tale urther presents adierent side o God. One could argue that He manipulates thosearound him, and it is unortunate that in most cases, His actionscould be portrayed as having deviant aspects. Milton depicts God as apuppet master who controls his creations at pleasure. Because o thesame, one would sympathize with Satan or how he conducted himsel.
Milton in Paradise Lost depicts God as being proud andstronger than Satan. Further, he is seen to abuse the power he has torustrate Satan by taunting him with misguidance. It is evident thatSatan is being used as a puppet just as is the case with Adam andEve. One could assume that Satan is manipulated into executing hisdevious plans with humans. I think that the all o the human racecan be attributed to God and not Satan. In understanding the concept,one would agree to the act that the all o humanity draws to thetime when Satan was chased out o heaven. It is out o the harshtreatment that Satan decides to venture into revenging or whatbeell him. Because o the same, I think it would be unjustiied toconclude that Satan should be blamed or the events that ensuedurther. I think it would be justiied to conclude Satan was right inhis actions and the best one could do is sympathize with him.Further, it is evident that through the poem, Satan seems to beollowing a trail led by God to Adam and Eve. I God was omniscient,then why would he continue to let Satan go ahead and sin in heaven?Such an action can be deemed as being deviant. Satan acts the way hedoes because he was led into doing so. It is only air that onesympathizes with him or the actions he undertakes. It would bediicult to view Satan as the villain considering God’sintentions.
Blake and Shelley and why they made their Observations
Percy Shelley was an inluential romantic poet popular or hisradical political and idealistic thoughts. He was also known or hisencouragement and support o ellow poets making him a principaligure in the development o English romantic poetry. Shelleyconsistently questioned the concept o supremacy o Church o Englandand religion in the United Kingdom. Despite the act that criticismagainst the church was not acceptable, Shelley stood ground inreuting the claims that were presented by the Church. The positionhe took regarding the concept o the church and Christianity can beattributed to the position he takes regarding Milton’s ParadiseLost. He criticizes the poem basing his sentiments on the unjustposition Milton takes regarding the opinions presented about Satan.Just like William Blake, he held the concept o Christianity. WilliamBlake, (November 28, 1757-August 12, 1827) was a painter, printmaker,and English poet. He has been determined to be one o the greatestpoets in England. Further, he has been considered to have had asigniicant inluence in the Romantic Movement. Notable movementsinluenced by Blake include Romanticism and Neo-Romanticism,Surrealism, Modernism and Post-Modernism, Feminism and theUnderground Movement. Further, he can be considered to have madesigniicant eorts in transorming the world through the eorts hemade toward saving children rom misery and drudgery. He wrotenumerous poems making him stand out in the world o poetry. Further,he was compassionate about his work and stood irm. His critique oMilton’s Paradise Lost can be attributed to the stance hehad regarding Christianity. He presented an opposing opinionregarding the poem.
William Blake and Percy Shelley made their contributions tocritiquing the poem by taking a similar stance on the poem. Accordingto both Blake and Shelley, Satan is the hero and should be applaudedor his rebellion against the tyranny o Heaven. Shelley identiiesthe need to look not into the wrongdoing o Eve but to acknowledgethe happenings to have had a given origin. Further, he reiteratesthat Milton tried to see the woman in Eve, but she ailed in doingso. Blake, on the other hand, presents his sentiments regarding Satanand how heroic he was in his actions. He identiies with the actthat Satan is a hero because his actions were in response toward theunjust deeds executed by God. William Blake states that Satan wasable to rise out o the challenges he aced to being able to testGod. He successully attains his goals since Adam and Eve are seen toall into his trap. Further, it is essential to consider that both othe critiques take the time to identiy with the concept as to whySatan is the most heroic. He struggles through the diicult timesand ends up realizing the goals that he had meant to achieve. Thesentiments presented by both Blake and Shelley are an illustration onot only the need to sympathize with Satan but an appreciation o theeorts he put to ensure that he overcomes the tribulations he wasinitially acing. The critiques are successul since as a reader, onewould be well placed to understand why a divergent opinion regardingthe sentiments presented about Satan by Milton should be reuted.
Further, William Blake identiies that Milton’s depiction o Godmay have been unair compared to how he portrayed Satan. According tohim, Milton could be considered as an unwitting Satanist (Bryson,2014). According to him, the thoughts anybody would have towardeither Satan or God may be linked to the choice o language by bothcharacters. For example, God’s language can be considered as lat,metaphorical and uncolored as compared to that o Satan perceived asbeing vivid and inspiring rhetoric. Sentiments presented by WilliamBlake are an illustration o the act that Satan was justiied in allthe actions that he undertook. William Blake and Shelley challengethe reason why Satan should not be entrusted, despite his ability toquestion God’s authority. Similarly, Shelley writes,
“Milton alleged no superiority o moral virtue to his God overhis Devil.”
(Martindale & Forsyth, 2005)
The sentiments presented by Shelley could be an illustration o theneed to consider both sides in understanding how the events unolded.Notably, Milton can be said to have taken a stand on the one hand. Heought to consider the circumstances resulting in the unolding oevents in both o the cases. Much as Satan is portrayed as thevillain, Shelley and Blake are o the opinion that Milton did notconsider the unjust nature in subjecting Satan to the tribulations.However, rom the sentiments presented by both critics, it is evidentthat the eloquence and ability o Satan to eiciently expresshimsel as the victim makes one think o whether it was just or himto undergo the diiculties he encountered.
Blake and Shelley made the observations based on how events unolded.Satan is the victim rom the moment he is chased out o heaven. Heopts to get back at God by becoming deceitul. He acts in the mannerthat he did since he was subjected into doing so. The decision hetook could be seen as an act to avenge against the harsh treatment.The observation made by both poets serves to reiterate the act thathe Satan was the victim and not the villain. However, by successullydeceiving Adam and Eve, he could be considered as the hero since heachieved the goal that he had intended to. Overall, his actions canbe attributed to how he was treated and he retaliates to get back tothe unjust experience he had.
John Gross, on the other hand, takes a dierent argument regardingMilton’s Paradise Lost. Unlike Shelley and Blake, John Grossis o the opinion that Satan was the villain, and he did not depictany heroic acts rom his part. Satan could be viewed as beingdeceitul and cunning. Because o the same, it would be impossible toattribute heroism to him. Satan can be identiied as having had illmotives right rom the time beore he was chased out o heaven. Hecomes back to the Garden where he takes advantage to deceit both Eveand Adam. Because o the actions o Satan, it can be assumed that thereasoning presented by Gross emanates rom his perception that Satanwas wrong and that God was superior. According to John Gross, God issuperior and that Satan was rom the very beginning inerior.
Bryson, M. (2004). The tyranny o heaven: Milton`s rejection oGod as King. University o Delaware Press.
Milton, J., &Teskey, G. (2005). Paradise Lost: a Norton critical edition. NovaIorque/Londres:
Martindale, C., & Forsyth, N. (2005). The Satanic Epic.
Milton, J. (1965). Paradise lost. Hayes Barton Press.