Enchanted Objects in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Milton’s Comus

“charm’d drinkes and amorous potions”

Romeo and Juliet and Comus make ubiquitous reference to potions, and inherently magical objects, both imprisoning, soporific, poisonous, and catalytic. Such ambivalent objects append both play and masque in juxtaposing narrative modes, revealing other tensions. They represent what Pollard calls a “hybrid genre intrinsically divided between the domain of tragedy (death) and that of comedy (erotic desire)” (95). Contextualised by Early Modern pharmacy, the narcotic drink, with its ambiguous identity of medicine and poison, reflects on the play’s intentionally hybridised status, as in the 1597 quarto title: “An Excellent Conceited Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet” (Shakespeare 395) . While promises of ease, gratification, and revitalisation link sleeping potions intrinsically with comedy, an inherent threat of fatality evokes tragedy too. Similarly, Comus’ sticky chair: in holding the chaste, yet sexually mature Alice Egerton in place, it allows the reestablishment of the masque court, when the nymph Sabrina employs her “[…] office best / to help insnared chastity […]” (Milton lines 908-9). However, this popular masque convention is destabilised by the inability of any but a female medicinal ‘matron’, not the traditional monarchic or paternal figure, to release the Lady from her “gumms of glutenous heat” (918). The poison of tragedy or antimasque, catalysed by enchanted objects, in its own paradoxical way enhances the presence of the medicinal and comedic, both often categorically female.

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 The dichotomy expressed by both poison and cure roots itself in another inherently ‘enchanted’ object of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: theletter. Letter writing, and language become objects of intense debate. While Romeo views them as news givers and love carriers: “I will omit no opportunity / That may convey my greetings, love, to thee” (3.5.49-50), Benvolio and Mercutio discuss that “Any man that can write can answer a letter / […] how he dares being dared” (2.3.9-10). An element of duplicity exudes itself from the text from the moment the debates begin: when physically expressing feelings, news, or challenges in writing, there is always the danger of deception.

For the lovers, and indeed those writing, letters become a “signifying chain […] proceed[ing] with blind automatism to cross and corrupt the paths of subjects at random.” Though Lehmann guarantees that “the letter always arrives at its destination” (204), for every mistake along its journey it “leaves a symbolic debt in its wake which must be paid.” (204). In the case of Romeo and Juliet, the consequence of missed, and failed signifiers, is suicide. However, I would argue that Lehmann’s criticism misses a vital strand of meaning. Romeo and Juliet, portrayed by Shakespeare as physical vessels of language, themselves become enchanted objects, poetical letters, interpolated and coerced into doing things “by th’ book” (1.4.124). Not only does Lady Capulet express Juliet’s future husband as “delight writ there with beauty’s pen […] this precious book of love, this unbound lover” (1.3.84-9), needing only Juliet’s dynastic lineage as a cover “to beautify him” (1.3.90), but Romeo suggests that his “love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books” (2.1.202). Framed as volumes of ancient knowledge, bound by dynastic marriage, or lineage, Romeo and Juliet become mere by-products of their forefathers.

Such assertion calls to mind the Early-modern preoccupation with parody, and the re-appropriation of texts in the pastiche world of early-modern theatre. Romeo and Juliet, parodies of their forbearing paternal identities: Capulet and Montague, are also parodies of Shakespeare’s original inspiration, Brooke’s 1562 narrative poem, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet. This linguistic environment, in which the only supposed mode of articulaction is “speech in a dead language” (Lehmann 194), marks the point where some critics place early-modern authors as “doomed to circulate like a dead letter postdating its own ideological demise”, (Lehmann 194), citing their emergence prior to the birth of the ‘Author’ under eighteenth-century trademarks of individualism, and copyright. Such frank dismissal of Shakespeare’s work fails to realise the intricate play of linguistics and consent in the characters of Romeo and Juliet. As enchanted objects, written upon the page and physically acted out, they contain the liquid and humoral fluctuations of non-consensual familial interpolation, physicalising the anxiety of being a mere blank parody of their Petrachan source, both textually speaking, and within the world of the play: “Romeo: Dry sorrow drinks our blood. Adieu, adieu.” (3.5.59), and, “Juliet: Hood my unmanned blood, bating in my cheeks, / with thy black mantle, till strange love grows bold” (3.2. 14-5). Not only does ‘blood’ allude to the dangerous humoral imbalance of sexual passion and desire, but also to the obsessive, and anxiety provoking allusion to the dynastic ancestries that swamp the play.

 The idea of consent throws up issues that also surround Milton’s Comus, and especially the attempted rape of his Lady. In a bold figuration of desire, Comus ensnares Alice Egerton in his lair, and attempts to force and seduce her into drinking from his cup:

“And first behold this cordial Julep here

That flames, and dances in his crystal bounds […]

Is of such power to stir up joy as this,

To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst.” (670-6)

 She resists, naming “the freedom of [her] minde” and pure, virgin chastity as her sustaining sources (663). Imbued with the historical weight of Comus’ mother, Circe, the Cup becomes the oxymoronic figuration of abnormal sexual desire, rape, and even bestiality:

“Soon as the Potion works, their human count’nance,

Th’ express resemblance of the gods, is chang’d

Into som brutish form […]

And they, so perfect is their misery, […]

But boast themselves more comely then before” (63-78)

Comus’ troupe, sordid Freudian nightmares infused with latent sexuality, unwillingly become carbon copies of himself, lacking only the magical quality of his phallic staff, becoming merely the image of uncivilised fiends: “headed like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts, […] with Torches in their hands.” (144).

Kerrigan reads a distinctly Freudian aura in the Lady’s resistance to Comus’s raping cup, viewing it as a Foucauldian case in which sense “exude[s] its own adversary, and ‘no’ means ‘yes’” (Foucault 43). This interpretation precedes the explanation of why the Lady remains glued to the throne by the “gumms of glutenous heat” even after her brothers confront Comus (917). It is “because her virtue is bound to a repressed wish for sex.” (Kerrigan qtd. Stockton 233) However, Stockton debunks this victim blaming interpretation, suggesting, “Taking an intoxicating drink from the cup is not a symbol for sexual compliance, nor is it the metaphorical end of this romance seduction” (233). Neither does it preface sex. The innate idea of symbol and metaphor assume a physical sexual intercourse about which the masque can only allegorise, anticipating, but not actually representing sex.

In exploring Comus’ “Crystal Glasse” (66), imbued with historical treasure from Odyssean heights, one cannot fail to come to the potion within it: Comus’s “orient liquor” (66). This enchanted vessel encompasses an even more interesting and nuanced signifier. Derrida suggested that the ambiguous nature of narcotics offers a direct interplay with status of language and literature, and has done for centuries. “In attacking poetry in The Republic, Plato refers to literature as a Pharmakon, an amalgamation of poison and remedy. Aristotle used a similar vocabulary in arguing that plays held medicinal value, inducing a katharsis of the emotions they elicited.” (Derrida qtd. Pollard 96) This debate was echoed in early modern Engalnd, where play-goers drew on pharmaceuticals to describe the effects of theatre, Censure demanded the public to ruminate upon drama as a “charmed drinke, & amorous potion” (Munday 101), or even “Soule-devouring poison” (Prynne 38). In turn, those supporting the theatre described playwrights as “good Phisitions” (Lodge 5).

 Romeo and Juliet offers Shakespeare’s most complete and obvious explorations of potion, prescription and medicine. However, “the prescription most discussed and finally sought to resolve the ills of the play-world is posion, underscored by the fourteen times that the word is used in the play – the hightest incidence in all of Shakespeare’s drama.” (Bergeron 360) In professing either metaphor and allegory, or in direct reference to the two forms of narcotic drink that catalyse the play’s dénouement, the text formulates its identity within the realms of the medicinal, or deadly.

Friar Lawrence provides Juliet with a sleeping potion in Act 4, which she cautiously observes, before taking: “What if it be a poison which the Friar / Subtly hath ministered to have me dead” (4.3.23-4). Juliet suspends the action, wondering if both the ministry of the Church, and indeed her herbal cure might in fact turn out to be a poison. Though she means this literally, it also takes on a more allegorical significance, when viewing the play as a whole.

The sleeping potion and, by association, the imaginative realm of sleep and dreams “temporarily suspend the play’s identity, holding out the possibility of a return to comedy by offering the lovers the means to escape a tragic ending” (Pollard 96). Nonetheless, its apotropaic remedial potential is underscored by the Early-modern observation of such an enchanted object within the tradition that “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy” (Paracelus qtd. Pollard 98)”. Ultimately, it is this dichotomy, and the dosage of the sleeping potion that poisons the action of the play, leading to Romeo’s own desperate search for an actual poison, juxtaposing and disguising it as a “cordial, and not poison” (5.2.85), viewing himself as sick in “bitter conduct, […], unsavoury guide, / Thou desperate pilot” (5.3.116-7). Thus the potion-poison dichotomy speaks to the sick-health paradox explored by Beregon: “the lovers are willing to distort meaning, to designate that which kills them as a balm for their weary souls” (362). Just as Juliet renames and reshapes the nominal influence of a rose in Act 1, both she and Romeo seek to re-assign genial qualities to that which eventually identifies itself as a toxin.

 In blank terms, the enchanted vessel, containing either toxin or remedy is also applied to the early-modern body, especially when seen through the lens of Hippocratic discourses of humoral temperance. Just as Romeo and Juliet become enchanted vessels of anxiety, Alice Egerton becomes a humorally dependent object of desire, and chaste virtue. Her “gumms of glutenous heat” (918), denoting her leaky “corporal rind” (664), and uncontrolled excess of humoral fluids, link her to the Early Modern illness found in sexually mature, yet inactive women: greensickness, or, “Irregularity of menstruation and certain other uterine troubles, [denoting] chlorosis, and general debility” (“Greensickness”). Juliet is also accused of greensickness, when Capulet mistakes her lovesickness for Romeo: “out you greensickness carrion” (3.5.155), and again, when Romeo first beholds her on the balcony. He charges her to find a cure in emphatic caesura: “Her vestal livery is sick and green, / And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off” (2.1.51-2).

 I would argue that Juliet’s ‘greensickness’ is cured by her chaste appeal to marriage, and though she seeks to defy social convention by marrying one to whom she is not promised, she still conforms to the early modern ideal of wifely devotion and chaste marriage: “The good vvife is in feare, least her husband should go from her.” (Abbot 99). Alice Egerton, on the other hand, seeks to remain virginal and unmarried, and is only relieved of the ‘greensickness’ by the matronly medicine of Sabrina. However, in order to prove her virtue, she must be tested, an insignia that frames Milton’s masque, culminating in her imprisonment in Comus’ sticky chair:

“Nay Lady sit; if I but wave this wand,

Your nerves are all chain’d up in Alabaster,

And you a statue; or as Daphne was,

Rootbound, that fled Apollo.” (659-662)

Comus introduces into the masque’s mythological world a violent allegorical reading. Volatile, warm and female godly bodies are replaced by the rigid, stone like Daphne. Throughout the text, Milton has stressed the power of Comus’ Cup and Wand, but these verbal patterns look forward to the more, dreadful possibilities- an immobilisation in stone, or more effectively a rape: in this case, culminating in the test of Comus’ sticky chair.

Milton often referred to this image of the tested or tempted Christian, especially in his 1644 Aeropagitica, suggesting: “Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary” (12). Ultimately, Comus’ antimasque chair allows such tribulation, revealing the chastity of its occupant, and restoring the masque scene: “’Tis chastity, my brother, chastity. / She that has that is clad in complete steel,” (406-7). As Shullenberger implies, “The Mask stages a rite of passage for its Lady from childhood into womanhood. Her fixture in the chair, subject to Comus’s temptation and threat, makes sense as an element typical of rituals of initiation” (184)

 However, the sticky chair also provides a subversive element to Milton’s masque. Legislatures of male chastity, the Egerton brothers head off the libertine, Rochester-esque Comus, but Egerton needs a woman’s touch to release her from her chair, completing her initiation. Comus’ enchanted chair thus divides Milton’s masque in two, both sections with a presiding supernatural figure that involves themselves with the sticky chair. Shullenberger suggests that Comus “plays the role assigned the figure of the ‘mock bridegroom’ […] presid[ing] over the first phase of her trial” (184). According to Richards, the Bemba of Zambia also practice the tradition, where “the mock bridegroom’s role involves sexual teasing and threats to the initiate” (122). She is given instruction concerning her vulnerabilities when in contact with male sexual potency, in this case, Comus’ staff, cup and chair. Conversely, governing the second part of the trial, is Sabrina, a “tutelary godmother, to mediate the generative mysteries of womanhood to the Lady, and to mobilize her for the social exercise of those mysteries” (Shullenberger 184). Sabrina personifies a remedial maternal influence. The restorative remedy to Milton’s antimasque of greensickness, is decidedly female.

 The structural trope of masque and antimasque brings to mind the Jacobean court masques of Ben Jonson, who in the preface to his 1631 masque, Chloridia implies, “Upon this hinge, the whole Invention moov’d” (2). Jonson describes the abrupt volta in the masque, transforming the scene and announcing the masquers. With no concrete masquers in Comus, its “hinge” remains elusive. I posit that its identity is revealed by Wilkenfeld when he says, “I believe that the “hinge” in Comus is neither a myth nor an act, but an emblem: the concrete, visual, dramatically viable emblem of the Lady paralyzed in the seat of Comus” (170-1). As with Romeo and Juliet, the innate identity of the text is at once revealed and complicated by its enchanted objects.

Will Stockton opens The Seduction of Milton’s Lady, with the assertion, “I will argue that […] Milton’s masque distance[s] sex from the genitals, suffusing all bodily appetites with sexual and moral significance” (238). In blank terms, Stockton refuses to acknowledge any direct reference to genitalia and its meaning for sexuality in Milton’s masque. In my opinion, in refusing to explore such angles, Stockton negates the inherent power of both Comus’ Cup and Wand, which White argues are themselves phallic and vaginal metaphors that recreate Northrop Frye’s distinction between “the demonic world” and “the analogy of innocence” (22). For White, they remain “at once [Comus’s] inheritance, his trademark, the source of his power; and, as the Attendant Spirit tells the Brothers, seizing them is the only way to overcome him” (qtd. Stockton 23).

Comus is said to bear Circe’s cup: “The daughter of the Sun? Whose charmed Cup / Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape, / And downward fell into a groveling Swine” (51-54) Milton associated the Odyssean goddess and witch with deceit, bestiality, and the temptation of the flesh: “let Ignorance throw off her humanity, let her have Circe’s cup and betake herself on all fours to the beasts” (Milton Prolusions 7 155). Not only does this bestial, flesh metaphor take hold in the form of the cup, but independent of the wand, the chalice would have suggested the Christian Eucharist, the sacrament through which man is reconciled to God. The wand is connected with healing and also with the serpent, like Mercury’s caduceus, the symbol of medical professionals.

 Opposing this view of the Cup and Staff as visual classical and medicinal archetypes, I would like to argue for their allegorical reference as direct symbols of sexual appetite and indeed human genitalia. Irene Tayler suggests, “Comus’s wand is a sign of his phallic power; […] an image of perverted sex” (24), a symbol proliferated long before the birth of Christian tradition. They are sex symbols of universal acceptance, “the Lance, or Spear, representing the Male, the Cup, or Vase, the Female, […] they are absolutely in place as forming part of a ritual dealing with the processes of life and reproductive vitality” (Weston 75). On the most basic level, both the Cup, and Wand imply Comus’ use of sexuality to enthral, charm and seduce. In a deeper strand of meaning, they adhere to his ability to manipulate the reproductive forces of life itself.

 The enchanted imagery of objects, impregnated with phallic and vaginal metaphor also permeate Shakespeare’s text. They surface in the bawdy references of Mercutio and the Nurse, “Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid / Her chariot is an empty hazlenut” (1.4.64-5), and again in the self-made epithalamion of Juliet: “O, I have bought the mansion of a love, / But not possessed it; and though I am sold, not yet enjoyed” (3.2.26-7). Not only do these references seek a source of feared, yet necessary power in the text, ultimately held by pervasive sexuality, they also coin an identity for their users.

 In exploring the role of enchanted objects and identity in these texts I turn briefly to another work of Shakespeare, Hamlet. In Act 3, Scene 2, Hamlet suggests:

“[…] the purpose of playing, whose

end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the

mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own

image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure” (3.2.17-24).

Emphatic extended metaphor exposes the notion that enchanted objects, like mirrors, reflect the identity, personality and intentions of those who possess them. One of the most obvious examples of this, is Romeo’s vial of poison, of which he tells the apothecary: “I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none” (5.2.83-4). Gone are the oxymoronic, Petrarchan ideals of love that Romeo’s apostrophe expresses in Act 1: “O heavy lightness, serious vanity” (1.1.174). His character has undergone a shift that reimagines his oxymoronic speech in a physical search for the most lethal cure he can find: poison. As Seward implies, “When all hope, all joy have been drained out of a person, life, like the Apothecary’s shop, becomes nothing more than a repository of worthless objects, a faded and shopworn collection of unwanted merchandise” (29 qtd. Grace). Not only does the setting inform both plot and intention, but the reworked and shifted object, the vial, implicit in the poison-potion dichotomy, makes Romeo’s volta in character ever stronger.

In astute rhetoric, Hamlet’s musings also throw up the use of enchanted objects within the world of the play. It would be unwise to forget that each of the items mentioned also take physical form in staged performance, or within the masque. Not only are they a reflecting medium through which to convey a character’s intention, but they denote a direct performance and relationship with their intended audience. Gramscian theory suggests that “Man is above all else mind, consciousness — that is, he is a product of history, not of nature” (42), and within such ideological and cultural hegemony, objects, too, are woven with cultural signifiers that have an intended socio-political purpose. In an early-modern play world, this cultural significance would have been intensely important. Lacking the elaborate scenery and staging of the later baroque era, early-modern props conform to Stanislavsky’s principle of “central objectives” (104), where a director delegates characters ‘central desires’ that “direct [them] along the right path and restrain [the actors] from false acting” (105), allowing the audience to see a realistic depiction of human nature and environment. Props create, reflect and resituate the world of the play or masque within the central objectives and imaginations of the audience’s own ideological hegemony.

Both Milton and Shakespeare reflect on an early modern world saturated with images of enchanted objects. Not only vesicles of latent power, sexuality and humoral temperance, they contain an entirely human nature that exposes itself throughout the texts. Young lovers become letters that tell of anxious dynastic identity, and virgin daughters appear as chalices, symptomatic of a humoral greensickness that threatens the patriarchal world of drama. In themselves, such structures only serve to paint the literary world, and verse in particular, as a sacred, enchanted object. Milton’s Lady says as much, looking forward to an even greater enchanted text:

“Thou art not fit to hear thy self convinc’d;

[…] dumb things would be mov’d to sympathize,

 And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, and shake,

Till all thy magick structures rear’d so high,

 Were shatter’d into heaps o’re thy false head.” (792-9)

Where Romeo and Juliet hypothesises the dynastic lineage of its form into the hybridised peak of Shakespeare’s later dramas, Comus prophecies a textual object to make the Earth quake. In both meaning and physicality, these texts themselves become enchanted objects, momentarily suspended in their textual moment.

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Works Cited

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Bergeron, David M. “Sickness in Romeo and Juliet”. CLA Journal, vol. 20, no. 3, College Language Association, pp. 356-64, 1977.

Foucault, Michel. The History of Homosexuality, vol.1, trans. Robert Hurley, Random House, 1978.

Gillum, Michael. “Yet Once More, ‘Gumms of Glutenous Heat”. Milton Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 1, Wiley, pp.47-51, 2010.

Grace, Dominick. “Romeo and the Apothecary”. Early Theatre, vol.1, pp.27-38, 1998.

Gramsci, Antonio. Prison Notebooks: European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism, Columbia UP, 1992.

“Greensickness”. OED,

Jonson, Ben. Chloridia Rites to Chloris and her nymphs, Thomas Walkley, 1631.

Lehmann, Courtney. “Strictly Shakespeare? Dead Letters, Ghostly Fathers and the Cultural Pathology of Authorship in Baz Lurhmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet”. Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 52, no.2, Folger Shakespeare Library, pp. 189-221, 2001.

Lodge, Thomas. A Defence of Poetry; Music and Stage-Plays, London, 1579.

Milton, John. Aeropagitica; a speech of Mr. John Milton for the liberty of unlicenc’d printing, to the Parlament of England, London, The British Library,1644.

—. Comus

—. “Prolusions 7”, Epistolarum Familiarium Liber Unus: Quibus Accesserunt, Eiusdem, jam olim in Collegio Adolescentis, Prolusiones Quaedam Oratoriae. Brabazon Aylmer, pp. 150-5, 1674.

Munday, Anthony. A second and third blast of retrait from plaies and Theaters, London, 1580.

Pollard, Tanya. “‘A Thing Like Death’: Sleeping Potions and Poisons in Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra”. Renaissance Drama New Series, vol. 32, U of Chicago P, pp.95-121, 2003.

Prynne, William. Histriomastix: The Player’s Scourge, London, 1633.

Shakespeare, William. The Oxford Shakespeare: Hamlet, Oxford UP, 2008.

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Stanislavsky, Constantin. “Units and Objectives”. An Actor Prepares, Bloomsbury, 2013. pp. 97-110.

Stockton, Will. The Seduction of Milton’s Lady: Rape, Psychoanalysis, and the Erotics of Consumption in Comus. Sex before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern England, ed. James M. Bromley and Will Stockton, U of Minnesota P, pp. 233-61, 2013.

Weston, Jessie L. From Ritual to Romance.

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The Old English Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost: The Characterization of Satan

John Milton was one of the most inspiring poets in the world for many reasons. One main reason he was inspiring to so many people is that he created one of the most popular epics of all time in 1667 called Paradise Lost. Another reason he was inspiring was that he created it while blind. Even with not being able to see, he was able to pull off something so wonderful that people today still enjoy it. Paradise Lost is an epic poem that tells about man’s creation and fall. It also makes a connection with its readers because it is like the Old English book of Genesis. Because it is similar, one might wonder what makes it unique if it is a copy of the book of Genesis? The epic goes into a great amount of detail about each character and has a plot that goes way beyond what the Bible taught. One way is the author and his past with religion, but another is how he leaves the readers with the question “Is Satan the hero or villain?” There are so many important characteristics in this epic that Satan has, and everyone views it differently on whether they would see him being the hero. Each character in this epic will make a connection with its readers, so it makes it hard for the readers to see someone else as a hero.

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 To begin, Milton’s background is very important because it shows how he made a connection with his writings. Milton went to college to become a Minister, but while in school his writings reflected on him being a poet than a Minister. In 1639, he decided to have his work devoted to political and religious changes. His texts make a connection between his life and his writings and then challenges the reader. In “The Old English Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost: The Characterization of Satan”, the author, Elisa Ramazzina, states: “The poem reports the accounts of the fall of the rebel angels, of Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent exclusion from the Garden of Eden. Through the words of the protagonists, a series of significant topics is dealt with, which express the personal ideas of John Milton. As a matter of fact, Milton argued that the Church, of any form and confession, was an obstacle to what he called ‘true faith’ and that every man should trust only his own conscience rather than Biblical exegesis as the most powerful instrument for understanding the Word of God.” (Ramazzina 91) The uniqueness started with John Milton and how he wanted the readers to view situations how their conscience feels rather than what they think is right because it is written in the Bible. 
The character, Satan, was seen by pursuers as either a hero or villain. Throughout the entire existence of writing, Satan is the most mainstream character to enhance. Satan has plenty of qualities that make him perceived as a hero and as a villain and these attributes have caused a debate of unclarity. Researchers have composed on numerous occasions approaches to help pursuers’ feelings on whether Satan is a legend or not for his epic.
A way that Milton shows Satan with gallant highlights, including fortitude, is in book two when he came across Death and Sin by the gate. After Satan’s triumph, he uses Sin and Death to take over Earth. In the Norton Anthology English Literature book- Volume B, it is stated by Milton: “Meanwhile, ere thus we sinn’d and judg’d on earth, Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death, In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass’d through, (Milton X.229 –34) This shows pursuers that he isn’t dreaded to assume responsibility if necessary. He discloses to Sin and Death that they need to immediately go to Earth and take over. This is nothing unexpected to pursuers that Satan would act along these lines, which means being forceful and speaking condescendingly to somebody, on account of the notoriety he has made for himself in anything the pursuers have perused or seen previously. Since he has terrible notoriety this would be him being revolting and evil, but if it was someone like Beowulf, this would be a hero trait that he has. If it was not for his notoriety and being recognized as a villain, many would consider him to be a legend along these lines.
Milton shows Satan being heroic when he went facing Michael. A leader would advance toward the front, show no dread, and attempt to lead his men to triumph. Satan did precisely that, even with the little possibility that they could win. A genuine leader would support his men’s certainty regardless of whether he didn’t have the foggiest idea about the result being fortunate or unfortunate. Even though Beowulf fought alone, his men wanted to fight with him, but he insisted on being the leader and doing it alone to protect his people. In a way they are like another, both being fearless, and the only difference is Satan used his men to fight and Beowulf did not. Satan also shows that in tough situations, he does not fall and quit, he finds a way to make it possible for them to fight. This nature of him is demonstrated when he conflicted with the great heavenly angels and chose to make a cannon. Indeed, even with leadership and the capacity to think and react quickly, he is still seen in this epic as a villain. On the off chance that it was any other individual, they would be viewed as a legend.
Despite the fact that Satan should be seen as the antagonist of the story, it is hard to look past every one of the things that he did to make him a legend. Satan shows his authority when he and the fallen angels land in hell for the first time. He was one of the first ones to stand up and the rest seemed to be lost. In the Norton Anthology English Literature book- Volume B, it is stated by Milton: “ Of Hell resounded. “Of hell resounded.” Princes, Potentates, Warriors, the flow’r of Heav’n, once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal Spirits: or have ye chos’n this place After the toil of battle to repose Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find To slumber here, as in the vales of Heav’n? Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the conqueror? who now beholds Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon His swift pursuers from Heav’n gates discern Th’ advantage, and descending tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf Awake, arise, or be forever fall’n.” (Milton 1.315-30) From these lines, Satan can be seen with initiative characteristics simply like other heroes of literature do. He gives them the idea that he is passionate about winning, getting out of hell, and that he does not see them as damaged, he sees them as warriors. Just by demonstrating his sentiments while conversing with them the manner in which he does, before the finish of his discourse, they are prepared to attack, and they view him as a leader. The emotions and attitude that he conveys, they also want to convey them as well. This quality that Satan has is like what Beowulf had. Although Beowulf fought alone, he still had troops that followed him around and wanted the same passion that he had. The only difference is that Beowulf wanted to keep his people safe, this included his troops and the people of the kingdom. Satan indicated authority when choosing to assume responsibility for the fallen angels. Satan is seen with resolution and the capacity to control circumstances they experience. Indeed, even with these qualities, Satan isn’t given the credit of being a hero he has the right to have. Satan additionally acquires pride. It is noticed in the Norton Anthology English Literature book- Volume B: “For who can yet believe, though after loss, That all these puissant legions whose exile Hath emptied Heav’n shall fail to re-ascend, Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?” (Milton 1.631-4) In the epic, Satan concedes that he misses God, however, his pride is too huge for him to ask and approach him for forgiveness and come back to paradise. Because he has pride, he yells at the top of his lungs “Better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven.” (Milton 263) Satan saying and doing every one of these things, is it seen as something underhanded and appalling.
Satan can take care of business regardless of what he needed to be done to get there. This is seen when he fools Eve into eating the forbidden fruit God told her not to eat. He made her innocent mind believe that there was this fruit that gave him the ability to speak, which she has never seen before. In the Norton Anthology English Literature book- Volume B: “Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine. Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste, Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?” (Milton IX.776–79) This is Satan’s most prominent quality since his equivalent knowledge made it possible for him to seduce the innocent.
Satan utilized his quality of character and his moving demeanor to show that it didn’t trouble him and that he trusted in his demons. He wanted to persuade his demons, so he gave a discourse to inspire them. In order to persuade his army, he had to give himself a discourse first. “So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost; Evil be thou my good; by thee at least Divided empire with heaven’s King I hold, By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; As man ere long, and this new world shall know.” (Milton IV.107–13) This shows Satan was attempting to persuade himself that he will win. He then does the same for his devils, accept that they had an entirely decent possibility of winning, despite the fact that he realized they were being vanquished. This shows him being a good leader.
Researchers have given their conclusion in Satan’s part in the epic on in the event that he is a legend or not. “In spite of such guidance, there are those who continue to be impressed with Satan’s heroic or tragic proportions and who find him and his crew rather more attractive and better realized than the heavenly actors generally. E. E. Stoll, cautious about admitting Milton to be of the devil’s party, is nevertheless forthright in upholding the superior channs of Hell…. In my own mind Satan’s role by no means outweighs the rest of the poem, nor do his values emerge for me as in any sense the guiding values. 1 cannot agree with E. M. W. Tillyard that in certain passages Milton “is on the Devil’s side nor that one cannot avoid admitting “that Milton did partly ally himself with Satan, that unwittingly he was led away by the creature of his own imagination.” M. Saurat’s conclusion that Milton “was of the devil’s party without knowing it; but he was also of God’s party, and, what is more important, he knew it seems to me finally only little better, though a more ingenious way of saying the same thing. His position is more tenable and more interesting because he explicitly makes Milton the hero of his own poem and considers the action to take place within the soul of the poet himself. Having roughly equated the poet’s soul with his poem, he has the advantage of being able to claim that the poet’s own passion, Satan, which exists both within the poem and within the poet, must be mastered by the poet (rather than by God or the Son in the poem) within himself and, by projection, within his poem since the arena of poem and soul are really one.” (Miller 183-184) This article shows that there are many mixed feelings of Satan and how he is a hero or not while readers read Paradise Lost. Depending on how one wants to view Satan, that is they will find what he does heroic or not. Since this epic is based on Genesis in the Bible, it can be easily noticed why readers would automatically point fingers at Satan and label him as a villain. Satan is portrayed as evil and the villain of everything, and it is hard for some readers to look at his actions and see good. For other readers, that can see Satan heroic, those people have an open mind to change and new possibilities. Connections with Satan being Milton’s hero in the story has sparked a lot of readers’ attentions. According to Lisa Ampleman: “The Romantic poet William Blake even said that Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” (Ampleman 1) William Blake was not the only one who thought Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” Milton was Christian so there is no way to prove that Milton was against or for Satan or felt sorry for Satan and how people view his character. One thing is for sure and that is this epic is strictly literature so Satan could be the character that Milton viewed on “something being larger than life”.  Epic poems have a hero that becomes larger for life, and in Paradise Lost Satan is viewed as it.
Defining what a hero would be a good way to see exactly which character in the epic did what a hero is supposed to do, and Edith Kaiter did exactly that. According to Kaiter: “In the Greek tradition, the tragic hero was supposed to stir up admiration, fear, and pity and had to display a tragic weakness or flaw in his character which was to lead to his downfall. Satan may be said to inspire these emotions. He is admirable in his indomitable pride and his unyielding ambition, just as he inspires fear and pity for his forecast doom and his determination to fight against something he apprehends as undefeatable. Paradoxically, his main qualities are also his tragic flaws: envy, pride, ambition, self-glorification give the character his singularity and magnificence but also pass the rigorous sentence on him. Despite Milton’s attempts to make Satan an incarnation of evil, he is still a fascinating figure which gains our admiration and sympathy.” (Kaiter 2) William Hazlitt remarked on what was said and he said Satan is “the most heroic subject ever chosen in a poem.” (Hazlit 107) Satan is a good representation to the meaning of a tragic hero that would be found in an epic.
Despite the fact that there are a few pursuers that consider Satan to be a villain this originates from how he was seen before and a portion of the things that were done in the epic made him appear as though he was conflicting with more significant position authority. A way people would consider him to be a villain is because he conflicted with God and attempted to vanquish him. Since he attempted to do this, pursuers would find in their mind that a villain would be the person who might need to assume control over the most dominant being on the planet. The more he wanted to be in control the more he turned into a despicable character in the epic. Another way he is marked as a villain is on the grounds that he began as an angel, however more significant position authority showed him out and he became something beneath Earth, a devil. Satan additionally makes individuals want to do things that he pretends are the correct thing when they are most certainly not. Numerous pursuers have blended emotions on if Satan is spoken to as a legend or not. Despite the fact that there are things he does that would cause him to be viewed as a villain, just a genuine legend would lead his men to conflict with the best power on the planet. He caused his men to accept that they could do it, despite the fact that he didn’t trust it himself. Just a hero would have enough boldness to take himself and conflict with something that is more dominant than anything on the planet. After noticing multiple critics saying that Satan is the hero in the epic and characterizing what a legend would be, it is sheltered to state that Satan belongs as the hero in the epic.
Works Cited

Ampleman, Lisa. “Why Satan’s character in Paradise Lost is the original antihero.” americamagazine.org. America the Jesus Review, 19 Oct. 2017. Web. 24 Nov. 2019.
Kaiter, Edith. “MILTON’S SATAN: HERO OR ANTI-HERO?.” afahc.ro. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE of SCIENTIFIC PAPER, 25 May. 2011. Web. 24 Nov. 2019. .
Miller, Milton. “Paradise Lost: The Double Standard.” University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Quarterly, 5 Mar. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2019.
Ramazzina, Elisa. “The Old English Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost: the Characterisation of Satan.” L’analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, UNIVERSITÀ CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE, 24 Dec. 2016. Web 24 Nov. 2019.

 

Falls Of Miltons Eve And Doctor Faustus Religion Essay

In this essay I am going to be comparing the falls of Eve in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, first published in 1667 and Doctor Faustus in Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus’, first published in 1604
The notion of the Fall of man originates in the Bible where it is recorded in the book of Genesis. It has been interpreted both literally, as a description of historical events and symbolically as a spiritual truth. ‘The Fall’ refers to the transition of the first created humans, Adam and Eve from their original state of perfection, to a state of guilt and disobedience to God. The notion of Adam and Eve’s perfection comes from Genesis 1:31 where we are told that “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” This notion was also reinforced by St. Augustine, who believed that “Man’s nature indeed, was created at first faultless and without any sin.”
In Genesis 2:16-17, God forbids Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.'”
This is essentially the beginning of the series of events that lead to the Fall, because it is shortly after this that Eve is deceived by the serpent into eating from that tree, and shares it with Adam. We are told that “the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made” (Gen 3:1) and later, in the book of Revelations, we are led to believe that the serpent was in fact Satan in disguise:
“The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan.” (Rev 12:9)
Adam and Eve are consequently banished from the Garden of Eden by God and as punishment for their sin, sent to live on Earth. They are also banned from eating from the Tree of Life again, which is how Christians believe death entered the world. This is known as the Fall of Man.
The Biblical story of Adam and Eve forms the basis for Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’, and he too seems to adopt the Augustinian view that Adam and Eve are two perfect and fully developed humans. This is shown when:
“Adam soon repealed
The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
Led on, yet sinless”
Unlike the Biblical Adam and Eve however, Milton gives us the impression that Eve is inferior to Adam since Adam was created to mirror God’s divine authority and Eve was created merely to satisfy Adam’s desire for a companion. Throughout the poem we realise that Eve never experiences God directly; Adam experiences God and Eve experiences Adam, who appears to act as an intermediary between her and God:
“For contemplation hee and valour formd, 
For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace, 
Hee for God only, shee for God in him.”
It is this sense of divine hierarchy that seems to make Eve more susceptible to Satan’s temptation, because during the series of events which contribute towards the eventual Fall, Satan plays on Eve’s desire for autonomy and a connection to the universe outside of Adam’s shadow.
The sequence of event leading to Eve’s fall begins when she is asleep one night and Satan attempts to plant his tempting thoughts in her mind. Satan’s effect is reflected in her dream when an angel tempts her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge:
‘Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods 
Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind.’
This plays on Eve’s desire to achieve a direct relationship with God.
The second significant factor is her determination to spend time alone on the fateful day; she wakes up in an independent mood and insists that her and Adam attend to the garden separately, despite Adam’s attempts at dissuading her. It is at this point, when she is pleased with herself for achieving some autonomy that she comes across the serpent.
In order to be successful in leading Eve astray, the serpent attempts to eliminate her fear of disobeying God. He begins by making her doubt the existence of death and evil:
“Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die: 
How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life 
To Knowledge? By the Threatner, look on mee, 
Mee who have touch’d and tasted, yet both live, 
And life more perfet have attaind then Fate 
Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot.”
The serpent then continues to try and make her doubt God himself by suggesting that God has only forbidden her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge so as to keep her ignorant, rather than becoming powerful and knowledgeable:
“Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil 
Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd? 
God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; 
Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeid: 
Your feare it self of Death removes the feare. 
Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe, 
Why but to keep ye low and ignorant, 
His worshippers; he knows that in the day 
Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere, 
Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then 
Op’nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods, 
Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.”
Here Satan is playing on Eve’s perception of the divine hierarchy and her feelings of inferiority to both Adam and God, by offering her an opportunity to do what she believes will lead to a direct relationship with God.
It is at this point that we begin to see Eve’s final error as intellectual rather than moral. In the moment before she eats from the tree, she pauses and thinks. She still allows her reason to guide her, but Satan’s deception of her mind misinforms her will. Her reasoning is quite sound, however it is based on the belief that the serpent is telling the truth. This, one of the main premises in her decision, is in fact false.

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After eating from the tree of knowledge, her nature and attitude towards her relationship towards Adam have been changed by sin. Having imagined an existence outside of Adam’s perception during her conversation with the serpent, she now finds herself consumed with a selfish desire to share her fate with Adam, because she can no longer conceive of separation from him.  

Book VII of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Passage 2 (Paradise Lost VII.109-130): (Conversation between Raphael & Adam)

Thus Adam his illustrious Guest besought:

And thus the godlike angel answered mild. [ 110 ]This also thy request with caution askedObtain: though to recount Almighty worksWhat words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,Or heart of man suffice to comprehend? Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve [ 115 ]To glorify the Maker, and inferThee also happier, shall not be withheldThy hearing, such commission from aboveI have received, to answer thy desireOf knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain [ 120 ]To ask, nor let thine own inventions hopeThings not revealed, which th’ invisible King,Only omniscient hath suppressed in Night,To none communicable in earth or Heaven:Enough is left besides to search and know. [ 125 ]But knowledge is as food, and needs no lessHer temperance over appetite, to knowIn measure what the mind may well contain,Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turnsWisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind. [ 130 ]

Book VII of John Milton’s Paradise Lost portrays Adam’s wish to obtain knowledge about the Creation of mankind and Earth, as well as Raphael’s attempt to convey such wisdom. The following analysis will mainly focus on a selected passage of their conversation.

In the beginning of the passage, one can observe ‘the godlike angel[‘s]’ (Paradise Lost, VII, 110) struggle to put God’s divine works into words. ‘[T]he affable Arch-Angel’ (VII, 41) wonders ‘what words […] of Seraph can suffice’ (113) ‘to recount Almighty works’ (112). The term ‘Seraph’ refers to angels and archangels alike. Here, Raphael seems to conclude that no creature, neither angel nor human, is essentially able to truly comprehend divine creation, or put it into words.

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 The selected passage underlines God’s divine superiority with a specific use of language. God’s act of Creation is described as ‘Almighty works’ (112) which can be hardly comprehended by anyone except himself. This essentially emphasises the extent of his power and importance. Further, God is titled ‘Maker’ (116) which is due to the act of Creation itself. According to the Bible, he made Earth and humankind. Moreover, God is named the ‘invisible King’ (122) which is supposed to emphasise the extent of his power. However, if one looks at historic evidence, kings who failed to be present within their own kingdoms or failed to appear to their people, were usually either loved or failed to keep their position of power. Thus, naming God an ‘invisible King’ (122) could effectively diminish his importance. Lastly, the difference in writing between ‘earth’ (124) and ‘Heaven’ (124) seems to underline that Heaven is superior to Earth. Now, it could be argued that the glorification of God in this passage is due to Raphael’s character. Raphael was supposedly ‘one of the seven holy angels’[1] which allowed him to ‘enter into the presence’[2] of God. Due to Raphael’s close relationship with God, it could be argued that he over-glorifies God by making use of divine language.

The fact that the passage highlights the boundaries between mankind and God is of crucial importance to the wider context of Adam and Eve’s Fall. Even though the archangel Raphael has received ‘commission from above’ (118), i.e. from God in Heaven, to fulfil Adam’s request of knowledge, the ‘illustrious Guest’ (109) can only deliver ‘knowledge within bounds’ (120) for infinite knowledge is reserved to the Creator himself. In essence, not even the most divine archangels are allowed infinite knowledge, though they are being described as ‘godlike’ (110). Now, this emphasis on the knowledge boundary could already figure as a hidden warning to Adam, so he will not attempt to achieve forbidden knowledge. This seems to be backed up by Raphael’s explicit warning that ‘enough is left besides to search and know’ (125). Here, Raphael explicitly warns Adam to stay within his creaturely limits and to seek knowledge of everyday life instead.

In the context of Adam and Eve’s Fall, one can conclude that Raphael’s repeated warnings fail. Adam and Eve fail to acknowledge their boundary and attempt to achieve wisdom reserved to those above humankind. Raphael’s warning to apply ‘temperance over appetite’ (127) for ‘knowledge is as food’ (126) is an allusion towards Adam and Eve’s pursuit of this forbidden knowledge. They fail to control their physical appetite, as they eat the apple, and they fail to control their mental appetite for knowledge, because they eat from the tree of knowledge. Here, one could also underline the resemblance with Gluttony, which constitutes one of the seven sins. Gluttony is referred to as ‘intemperate eating’[3] which directly contradicts Raphael’s emphasis on temperance, and highlights his failed warning. In this sense, Adam and Eve’s sins were both their quest for knowledge and the act of eating the apple.

Lastly, the passage underlines both the importance of knowledge as well as its dangers. Although God encourages Adam in his pursuit of knowledge by sending him the archangel Raphael as informant, the latter also puts forth that wisdom has the ability to turn to folly (130). The angel emphasises that only the knowledge which ‘the mind may well contain’ (128) is worth pursuing, because all else will result in surfeit. It is worth noting that the term ‘surfeit’ shares its meaning with gluttony. All in all, the selected passage seems to portray the underlying meaning that knowledge within bounds may be granted to all, whereas the pursuit of infinite, divine knowledge can only result in disappointment and sin.

 

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Milton, John, Paradise Lost (London: Penguin, 2003)

Secondary Sources

Satan as a Hero in Milton’s Paradise Lost

The greatest writer after Shakespeare in 17 century is John Milton. John Milton (1608 -1674) was the most prominent English poet, thinker, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. His masterpiece Paradise Lost arouses hot debates among scholars since it appeared. In that era, England is a religious unsteady and political shake-up nation. Concerning about the fate of his country, John Milton’s poetry and prose all reflect deep confirmations and deal with contemporary issues. After his death, Milton’s critical reception on a state of affairs continued to make great influence towards the masses through the centuries. He is still generally regarded as one of the remarkable writers and thinkers in English .Although he was born in a puritan family, John Milton boldly chose God and the devil Satan as the main roles in his work. What’s more, he endowed the latter one with heroic spirit which may risk everyone’s condemnation. Satan’s resistance to God mirrors the revolutionary and heroic spirit of the bourgeoisie. While he finally loses the joyful heaven and Adam and Eve lose the Eden. All these consequences are the hints of the capitalist class’s failure and the feudalistic class’s restoration.

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Can the devil be an epic hero? In John Milton’s Paradise Lost- the great epic from the English Renaissance, this topic was discussed time and again. Numbers of scholars believe that Paradise lost should be one of the most outstanding products of the Renaissance, especially when talking about the question can the devil be an epic hero? For Milton’s part, Satan is dauntless, quick-witted and powerful and he is also an excellent leader. He is quite distinctive from the traditional heroes in many famous works. In Paradise Lost, the Genesis story upon the corruption of man was recreated by the author, as a matter of fact, caused by Satan. For the sake of Satan’s deadly shortcomings of arrogance and ambition, he decided to fight with Heaven. In the end, even though he was defeated, he refused to give up his war against God, always betting to do wrong against the heaven and the human beings succeeding with man’s fall from grace. Paradise Lost starts, not with the expected potential heroes of the Genesis stories, God or man, but it begins instead with Satan, therefore paying great attention to him, his actions and characteristics. Milton, introduce Satan by condemning him as the reason leader to the fall of man, “Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? /the’ infernal Serpent…” (1.33-34). in this sentence it implied that Satan had begun to be set up as the final rebel, not just of the epic, but of humanity. Milton easily represented Satan’s pride that led to his ultimate failure. He tried to overthrow God; while unluckily he was cast into the Hell, but Milton also told us, “…for now the thought/both of lost happiness and lasting pain/Torments him…”(1.55-56). At once, the author tried to make Satan to be a pitied, more human and less evil role. He also described Satan’s physical character to be “in bulk as huge/as whom the fables name of monstrous size, / Titanian…”(1.196-198), and then “Deeming some island,” (1.205), which means that Satan has a vast figure and even a sailor would make a mistake. He may think that Satan is an island on which he can moor his boat. Satan’s size growing extreme larger comparing with the others supports Satan as the hero. Satan is so physically impressive that Milton can’t find anyone who can match him. Hence he is distinctive from the other angels and men.
In the English Renaissance, there’s no doubt that John Milton’s Paradise Lost was generally regarded as the main work. The Renaissance is believed to have originated in Florence in the fourteenth century, in which there was a revival of interest in the classical antiquity. Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, but also painters like Giotto were the important figures of that age. From the end of the fifteenth century on, it has become known as the High Renaissance, when some Italian cities started to compete with Florence upon the leading position. Therefore, the thought of Renaissance spread out from the early sixteenth century onwards. This revival and influence of classical culture, art and literature was typically represented in both Paradise Lost and La Divine Commedia, especially describing the setting of the underworld. This is a general literary motivation of the classical epic works. Inspired by all the literatures at that era, Milton decided to write his epic poem. Milton had a purpose of writing an epic poem upon a noble subject decades before he started writing Paradise Lost in 1658. In his famous work At a vacation Exercise in the College (1628), he already mentioned that he would like to devote himself to “singing in the manner of Homer” and at the same time, he envisioned writing a poem concerning “wars and heaven under Jupiter”. Notes and drafts from around 1640 include four drafts of projections of the fall of man, one of them called Paradise Lost and another Adam unparadiz’d. It took Milton almost twenty years writing controversial prose and political pamphlets and he was a strong supporter of liberty of conscience, free will and human choice. The story itself shows that the fall from heaven of Satan and the other angels who betrayed against God. As a matter of fact, the Renaissance humanism can be easily found in this work. It quickly developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century, and was also a resounding response to the challenge of medieval scholastic education. It emphasized the practical, scientific and pre-professional studies. On the contrary, sHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism”cholasticism pay much attention to cultivating the preparing men to be doctors, lawyers or professional theologians, and their subjects contain logic, natural philosophy, medicine, law and theology, etc.. Opposite from the training professionals in jargon and serious drill, humanists did all they could to create a citizenry who was able to speak and write with eloquence and clearness. For this reason, they would be capable of persuading others to engage the civic life of their communities virtuously and do some cautious actions.
Because Milton’s work was deeply influenced by the Classics, Paradise Lost can be classified as an epic. Thanks to this masterpiece, the poet Milton is still famous until now. Many scholars believe that this work is one of the most prominent products of the Renaissance and particularly as to the topic can the devil be an epic hero? Satan in Milton’s eyes was bold, resourceful and formidable and as well an excellent leader. When reading the work, after a few pages, the reader may indeed get the impression that Satan is a great epic hero of that age. Milton did not deny the truth of the bible so as to establish the freedom of the individual. He built on the great Christian paradox which asserted that true freedom depended on the service for God. This pull the traditional thought into a new setting, even a revolutionary setting, is Milton’s great power.
When talked about the aim of the poet to write this poem, it was to find the root of the human’s unfortunateness. For his part, he believed the reason that human beings were easy to be swayed by their emotions, chose the wrong way and finally lose their joyful paradise was for the sake of their weak reason and nerves. The fall of Eve was due to her aimlessness for finding new knowledge. The fall of Adam was due to his indulgence to Eve. The fall of Satan was due to his great ambitions and self-satisfaction. Through their bitter experience, Milton wanted to imply that the English capitalist class’s bitter loss was due to their moral corruption and voluptuousness. He inherited the humanism in 16 century and at the same time, accepted the new scientific achievement in 17 century. However, he held a critical attitude towards them. He confirmed life trick but he denied the unlimited pleasure. He confirmed enterprise and sense of proud while he denied the ambitions and proud which evolve from them. He confirmed science while he also thought that science didn’t mean all. If people only had science but no ideal and justice, they would never get peace and happy. Such kind of thinking was the reflection of his Puritanism. Milton criticized the proud Satan inwardly, while emotionally he sympathized Satan’s status, because the punishment of Satan looks so much like the pressure of the capital class. When descried the hell, although Milton kept on saying that Satan was proud, ambitious, from the dialogues, Satan was just a vivid oppressed revolutionary. This image was so splendid, and his fighting determination stood out brightly against the extreme dangerous hell. This was the indelible memory of English bourgeoisie, also a prominent art achievement.
Satan was a role who had significant obstacles to overcome in order to realize his goals. In the historical long river, epic heroes in epic poetry shared some similar characteristics, thus it seems like Milton felt his own duty to make Satan to be the epic hero in Paradise Lost. His characteristics in the poem shared some similarities with those of previous epic heroes such as Odysseus. Epic heroes have some likeness. They are quite powerful, brave, and convincing; no matter what odds are against them, they will get rid of the difficulties and achieve their goals, and most important of all, they are leaders. Actually, Satan possesses of such kind of the qualities in Paradise Lost. First of all, in the first beginning, Satan had lost the war he fight against God and the angels in heaven and was “chained on the burning lake”. Satan and his fellow rebel angels were banished to live in horrid dwellings. Milton described the discomfort of hell mentioned by Satan “Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell! There the companions of his fall, overwhelmed with floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire” (1.97). This shows that Satan met with important obstacles as most epic heroes encounter. Satan was powerful and large in size which usually personifies epic heroes. “Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge as whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian or Earth-born, which warred on Jove” (1.95).  
Milton shows that Satan was also the reflection of bravery and leadership because Satan, although currently in censure, still upholds his principles that enlisted him in hell in the first place. He says “all is not lost the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome? That glory never shall his wrath or might extort from me” (1.106-111). The core of Satan’s heroism in this poem is that though that he would fight against all the odds, he was still in favor of his own beliefs and fought till the end to preserve his beliefs. He says “We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice, to reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in the Hell than serve in Heaven” (1.259-263). Satan and his rebel angels achieve the ideology which was “As being the contrary to His high with whom we resist. If then His providence, Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labor must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil”(1.161-165). Satan inspired the openly opposition to God and uprooted the passion of his followers to continue their fury of damaging God. All he his followers were persuaded during his speech “Can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven” (1.255). Satan and his adherents wanted no parts of Heaven any more because they couldn’t bear to service for God any longer. Thus they were adamant about creating their own Kingdom in hell where they would call God’s precious mankind up. All in all, the characteristics of Satan and his actions corporately made him the competitor of the epic hero role in Paradise Lost.  
Milton portrayed Satan as a vengeful, manipulative, trickish, lying, and vicious individual. Nevertheless, Milton also showed Satan’s loyalty to the objective that he and the rebellious angels were pursuing. But first of all, let’s begin with Satin’s vengeful ways. To begin with, Satan was seen as vengeful because even though he’d already been punished and thrown to the pits of hell from heaven, he still remains firm in his rebellion of the Almighty and seeks to damage heaven. Satan and his constituents’ s malevolence was so obvious in their decision that they wouldn’t attack Heaven through war, but attack the newest creation of God, Man. Satan volunteered his services to “seduce them to our party, that their God May prove their foe, and with repenting hand Abolish his own works. This would surpass Common revenge, and interrupt his joy” (2.-371). Besides, Satan was manipulative and trickish because to further his mission of seducing and corrupting man on earth, he had to design a perfect method to enter the gate of earth, and thus “he casts to change his proper shape which else might work him danger or delay: and now a stripling Cherub he appears”(634-636). In an attempt to cheat and manipulate the guard Uriel, Satan transformed into a cherub which is a humbly ranked angel in heaven. From this we can find that he is quite a scheming individual. What’s more, Satan demonstrated the acts of lying and deceit when he corrupted Eve’s mind in the Garden of Eden and persuaded her to pick the fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge. He transformed himself once again into a snake, and instigated Eve that she could eat from the tree of knowledge. “So glistered the dire Snake, and into fraud Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree of prohibition, root of all our woe” (10.643-645). All of these actions- lying, manipulation, deceit, and the risks committed by Satan show his loyalty to the purpose. For the sake of destroying mankind just to annoy God immensely shows his loyalty and contribution. Milton clearly emphasizes the character of Satan through his high detailed recounts of Satan’s mischief. Satan had become a “by any means” type of attitude when it came to pleading his honor and upholding his beliefs which led to the deception, manipulation, and lying that he was notorious for throughout Paradise Lost. He was the epic hero in the story because in this story he was the underdog. No one expected for him to be fully victorious in his displays, and while he might not fully accomplished all goals. It was proved that he was firm in his plot against God.
In the summary part, Milton expressed the differences between human beings and Satan. Different from Satan and his followers, Adam and Eve didn’t choose a destructive gamble. Adversely, they kept a hopeful and humble behavior. Adam even assimilated himself to the corruptive archangel saying that his pain was never before and never again. Nevertheless, the biggest difference was when they faced with the possible choices, human beings chose hope while Satan chose a gambling revenge. An essential conception here was that previous life was doomed. John Milton quite opposed this idea. He was strongly in favor of the free willingness. As the plot spread, the distinctions between human and Satan gradually expressed. Adam and Eve denied the opinion of Satan that all people should sink with ignorance, and they decided to be submissive to God under his arrangement. Different from Satan’s determination to revenge on all the violated deities, people chose to be peaceful to the omnipotent God. Satan couldn’t absolutely repent and mend his ways or pray for forgiveness in such a desperate condition. Although he was firm, he was defeated by the holy son who was bestowed the spirit and power by God. No matter whether we were in favor of Satan and his troops’ sacrifice or human beings’ final submission, Milton insisted on the terminal decision of the inner heart throughout. In spite of failure, Satan was fully confident that he couldn’t help facing with such condition. And that Adam and Eve knew their happy heaven had been lost, so they hope to regard it as a realm which their soul could arrive. They hoped that their spirit could live here. Though won the war and be called the “winner”, the holy son didn’t experience the conversion or adventure like other characters.
Although the revolution was a failure, the revolutionaries were bloodily suppressed; Milton’s revolutionary fighting would never be deducted. To convey this topic, the devout believer Milton described God as a cruel feudal monarchy and a blinkered tyrant at all cost so that he could allude to the cruel repression to the puritans of Charlie â…¡ at that black age. The greatest opponent and the most vicious devil Satan was fashioned into a handsome, tall and smart revolutionary leader for the sake of singing the praises of revolutionaries. Satan’s rebellion was put down by God, and the devil party was thrown into the fire lake for sufferings; however, Satan never loses his fighting will, he was adversely active to organize his own force and waited for rising from the ashes. He built his own palace as a new kingdom in the hell and openly content against God. He preferred being the king in the hell to submitting to God as an official in the heaven. From this we can find his tireless fighting spirit towards the God, the authority and the highest dictator. The author borrowed the image of Satan to express his own anger and contempt towards the feudal tyrant Charlie â…¡ and his firm confidence towards the revolutionary success. Thanks to his revolutionary passion, his Satan was full of sound and color and surpassed his god morally. The hero of this poem is a man named Satan who is banished for challenging the leadership of the clan. This man Satan makes a vow to destroy or corrupt anything created by the clan. This Satan was resourceful, making the best of what he had, very little, and accomplishing his goal. Satan may just be the nonconformist who couldn’t abide by what was considered normal. In any case one must show their admiration for Satan in his unwillingness to serve in Heaven, and then in the way he accepted his resulting role in Hell.
Although it was quite hard to prove who the real hero was in Paradise Lost, as a whole, sprit-internal perfect, intelligent independence and individual power in this masterpiece give people the comprehensive “epic virtue”. Fundamentally, Milton abandoned the whole epic conception in this work and changed it into an experience of immediate concern to himself. This experience wasn’t his flattery to his culture and beliefs, but a real chance for readers’ spiritual practice. No matter how painful a person is, John Milton’s Paradise Lost will awake him up after experiencing such a spiritual trip and convert the intangible blackness into wholesome consciousness and bright mind. People may say that Milton fight for republic form of government and exposed Satan. While from his condemnation to Satan’s audaciousness and infidelity, more than once display the false faces and insincere attitude of English bourgeoisie activists. Yet Satan’s fearless lofty quality, to a large extent, eulogized his contemporaries’ heroic dauntless spirit.
Work Cited
Milton, John, 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. London ; New York :Penguin Books, 2000.
 

Satan as a Hero in Milton’s Paradise Lost

The greatest writer after Shakespeare in 17 century is John Milton. John Milton (1608 -1674) was the most prominent English poet, thinker, and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England. His masterpiece Paradise Lost arouses hot debates among scholars since it appeared. In that era, England is a religious unsteady and political shake-up nation. Concerning about the fate of his country, John Milton’s poetry and prose all reflect deep confirmations and deal with contemporary issues. After his death, Milton’s critical reception on a state of affairs continued to make great influence towards the masses through the centuries. He is still generally regarded as one of the remarkable writers and thinkers in English .Although he was born in a puritan family, John Milton boldly chose God and the devil Satan as the main roles in his work. What’s more, he endowed the latter one with heroic spirit which may risk everyone’s condemnation. Satan’s resistance to God mirrors the revolutionary and heroic spirit of the bourgeoisie. While he finally loses the joyful heaven and Adam and Eve lose the Eden. All these consequences are the hints of the capitalist class’s failure and the feudalistic class’s restoration.

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Can the devil be an epic hero? In John Milton’s Paradise Lost- the great epic from the English Renaissance, this topic was discussed time and again. Numbers of scholars believe that Paradise lost should be one of the most outstanding products of the Renaissance, especially when talking about the question can the devil be an epic hero? For Milton’s part, Satan is dauntless, quick-witted and powerful and he is also an excellent leader. He is quite distinctive from the traditional heroes in many famous works. In Paradise Lost, the Genesis story upon the corruption of man was recreated by the author, as a matter of fact, caused by Satan. For the sake of Satan’s deadly shortcomings of arrogance and ambition, he decided to fight with Heaven. In the end, even though he was defeated, he refused to give up his war against God, always betting to do wrong against the heaven and the human beings succeeding with man’s fall from grace. Paradise Lost starts, not with the expected potential heroes of the Genesis stories, God or man, but it begins instead with Satan, therefore paying great attention to him, his actions and characteristics. Milton, introduce Satan by condemning him as the reason leader to the fall of man, “Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? /the’ infernal Serpent…” (1.33-34). in this sentence it implied that Satan had begun to be set up as the final rebel, not just of the epic, but of humanity. Milton easily represented Satan’s pride that led to his ultimate failure. He tried to overthrow God; while unluckily he was cast into the Hell, but Milton also told us, “…for now the thought/both of lost happiness and lasting pain/Torments him…”(1.55-56). At once, the author tried to make Satan to be a pitied, more human and less evil role. He also described Satan’s physical character to be “in bulk as huge/as whom the fables name of monstrous size, / Titanian…”(1.196-198), and then “Deeming some island,” (1.205), which means that Satan has a vast figure and even a sailor would make a mistake. He may think that Satan is an island on which he can moor his boat. Satan’s size growing extreme larger comparing with the others supports Satan as the hero. Satan is so physically impressive that Milton can’t find anyone who can match him. Hence he is distinctive from the other angels and men.
In the English Renaissance, there’s no doubt that John Milton’s Paradise Lost was generally regarded as the main work. The Renaissance is believed to have originated in Florence in the fourteenth century, in which there was a revival of interest in the classical antiquity. Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, but also painters like Giotto were the important figures of that age. From the end of the fifteenth century on, it has become known as the High Renaissance, when some Italian cities started to compete with Florence upon the leading position. Therefore, the thought of Renaissance spread out from the early sixteenth century onwards. This revival and influence of classical culture, art and literature was typically represented in both Paradise Lost and La Divine Commedia, especially describing the setting of the underworld. This is a general literary motivation of the classical epic works. Inspired by all the literatures at that era, Milton decided to write his epic poem. Milton had a purpose of writing an epic poem upon a noble subject decades before he started writing Paradise Lost in 1658. In his famous work At a vacation Exercise in the College (1628), he already mentioned that he would like to devote himself to “singing in the manner of Homer” and at the same time, he envisioned writing a poem concerning “wars and heaven under Jupiter”. Notes and drafts from around 1640 include four drafts of projections of the fall of man, one of them called Paradise Lost and another Adam unparadiz’d. It took Milton almost twenty years writing controversial prose and political pamphlets and he was a strong supporter of liberty of conscience, free will and human choice. The story itself shows that the fall from heaven of Satan and the other angels who betrayed against God. As a matter of fact, the Renaissance humanism can be easily found in this work. It quickly developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century, and was also a resounding response to the challenge of medieval scholastic education. It emphasized the practical, scientific and pre-professional studies. On the contrary, sHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism”cholasticism pay much attention to cultivating the preparing men to be doctors, lawyers or professional theologians, and their subjects contain logic, natural philosophy, medicine, law and theology, etc.. Opposite from the training professionals in jargon and serious drill, humanists did all they could to create a citizenry who was able to speak and write with eloquence and clearness. For this reason, they would be capable of persuading others to engage the civic life of their communities virtuously and do some cautious actions.
Because Milton’s work was deeply influenced by the Classics, Paradise Lost can be classified as an epic. Thanks to this masterpiece, the poet Milton is still famous until now. Many scholars believe that this work is one of the most prominent products of the Renaissance and particularly as to the topic can the devil be an epic hero? Satan in Milton’s eyes was bold, resourceful and formidable and as well an excellent leader. When reading the work, after a few pages, the reader may indeed get the impression that Satan is a great epic hero of that age. Milton did not deny the truth of the bible so as to establish the freedom of the individual. He built on the great Christian paradox which asserted that true freedom depended on the service for God. This pull the traditional thought into a new setting, even a revolutionary setting, is Milton’s great power.
When talked about the aim of the poet to write this poem, it was to find the root of the human’s unfortunateness. For his part, he believed the reason that human beings were easy to be swayed by their emotions, chose the wrong way and finally lose their joyful paradise was for the sake of their weak reason and nerves. The fall of Eve was due to her aimlessness for finding new knowledge. The fall of Adam was due to his indulgence to Eve. The fall of Satan was due to his great ambitions and self-satisfaction. Through their bitter experience, Milton wanted to imply that the English capitalist class’s bitter loss was due to their moral corruption and voluptuousness. He inherited the humanism in 16 century and at the same time, accepted the new scientific achievement in 17 century. However, he held a critical attitude towards them. He confirmed life trick but he denied the unlimited pleasure. He confirmed enterprise and sense of proud while he denied the ambitions and proud which evolve from them. He confirmed science while he also thought that science didn’t mean all. If people only had science but no ideal and justice, they would never get peace and happy. Such kind of thinking was the reflection of his Puritanism. Milton criticized the proud Satan inwardly, while emotionally he sympathized Satan’s status, because the punishment of Satan looks so much like the pressure of the capital class. When descried the hell, although Milton kept on saying that Satan was proud, ambitious, from the dialogues, Satan was just a vivid oppressed revolutionary. This image was so splendid, and his fighting determination stood out brightly against the extreme dangerous hell. This was the indelible memory of English bourgeoisie, also a prominent art achievement.
Satan was a role who had significant obstacles to overcome in order to realize his goals. In the historical long river, epic heroes in epic poetry shared some similar characteristics, thus it seems like Milton felt his own duty to make Satan to be the epic hero in Paradise Lost. His characteristics in the poem shared some similarities with those of previous epic heroes such as Odysseus. Epic heroes have some likeness. They are quite powerful, brave, and convincing; no matter what odds are against them, they will get rid of the difficulties and achieve their goals, and most important of all, they are leaders. Actually, Satan possesses of such kind of the qualities in Paradise Lost. First of all, in the first beginning, Satan had lost the war he fight against God and the angels in heaven and was “chained on the burning lake”. Satan and his fellow rebel angels were banished to live in horrid dwellings. Milton described the discomfort of hell mentioned by Satan “Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell! There the companions of his fall, overwhelmed with floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire” (1.97). This shows that Satan met with important obstacles as most epic heroes encounter. Satan was powerful and large in size which usually personifies epic heroes. “Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge as whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian or Earth-born, which warred on Jove” (1.95).  
Milton shows that Satan was also the reflection of bravery and leadership because Satan, although currently in censure, still upholds his principles that enlisted him in hell in the first place. He says “all is not lost the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome? That glory never shall his wrath or might extort from me” (1.106-111). The core of Satan’s heroism in this poem is that though that he would fight against all the odds, he was still in favor of his own beliefs and fought till the end to preserve his beliefs. He says “We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice, to reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in the Hell than serve in Heaven” (1.259-263). Satan and his rebel angels achieve the ideology which was “As being the contrary to His high with whom we resist. If then His providence, Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labor must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil”(1.161-165). Satan inspired the openly opposition to God and uprooted the passion of his followers to continue their fury of damaging God. All he his followers were persuaded during his speech “Can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven” (1.255). Satan and his adherents wanted no parts of Heaven any more because they couldn’t bear to service for God any longer. Thus they were adamant about creating their own Kingdom in hell where they would call God’s precious mankind up. All in all, the characteristics of Satan and his actions corporately made him the competitor of the epic hero role in Paradise Lost.  
Milton portrayed Satan as a vengeful, manipulative, trickish, lying, and vicious individual. Nevertheless, Milton also showed Satan’s loyalty to the objective that he and the rebellious angels were pursuing. But first of all, let’s begin with Satin’s vengeful ways. To begin with, Satan was seen as vengeful because even though he’d already been punished and thrown to the pits of hell from heaven, he still remains firm in his rebellion of the Almighty and seeks to damage heaven. Satan and his constituents’ s malevolence was so obvious in their decision that they wouldn’t attack Heaven through war, but attack the newest creation of God, Man. Satan volunteered his services to “seduce them to our party, that their God May prove their foe, and with repenting hand Abolish his own works. This would surpass Common revenge, and interrupt his joy” (2.-371). Besides, Satan was manipulative and trickish because to further his mission of seducing and corrupting man on earth, he had to design a perfect method to enter the gate of earth, and thus “he casts to change his proper shape which else might work him danger or delay: and now a stripling Cherub he appears”(634-636). In an attempt to cheat and manipulate the guard Uriel, Satan transformed into a cherub which is a humbly ranked angel in heaven. From this we can find that he is quite a scheming individual. What’s more, Satan demonstrated the acts of lying and deceit when he corrupted Eve’s mind in the Garden of Eden and persuaded her to pick the fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge. He transformed himself once again into a snake, and instigated Eve that she could eat from the tree of knowledge. “So glistered the dire Snake, and into fraud Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree of prohibition, root of all our woe” (10.643-645). All of these actions- lying, manipulation, deceit, and the risks committed by Satan show his loyalty to the purpose. For the sake of destroying mankind just to annoy God immensely shows his loyalty and contribution. Milton clearly emphasizes the character of Satan through his high detailed recounts of Satan’s mischief. Satan had become a “by any means” type of attitude when it came to pleading his honor and upholding his beliefs which led to the deception, manipulation, and lying that he was notorious for throughout Paradise Lost. He was the epic hero in the story because in this story he was the underdog. No one expected for him to be fully victorious in his displays, and while he might not fully accomplished all goals. It was proved that he was firm in his plot against God.
In the summary part, Milton expressed the differences between human beings and Satan. Different from Satan and his followers, Adam and Eve didn’t choose a destructive gamble. Adversely, they kept a hopeful and humble behavior. Adam even assimilated himself to the corruptive archangel saying that his pain was never before and never again. Nevertheless, the biggest difference was when they faced with the possible choices, human beings chose hope while Satan chose a gambling revenge. An essential conception here was that previous life was doomed. John Milton quite opposed this idea. He was strongly in favor of the free willingness. As the plot spread, the distinctions between human and Satan gradually expressed. Adam and Eve denied the opinion of Satan that all people should sink with ignorance, and they decided to be submissive to God under his arrangement. Different from Satan’s determination to revenge on all the violated deities, people chose to be peaceful to the omnipotent God. Satan couldn’t absolutely repent and mend his ways or pray for forgiveness in such a desperate condition. Although he was firm, he was defeated by the holy son who was bestowed the spirit and power by God. No matter whether we were in favor of Satan and his troops’ sacrifice or human beings’ final submission, Milton insisted on the terminal decision of the inner heart throughout. In spite of failure, Satan was fully confident that he couldn’t help facing with such condition. And that Adam and Eve knew their happy heaven had been lost, so they hope to regard it as a realm which their soul could arrive. They hoped that their spirit could live here. Though won the war and be called the “winner”, the holy son didn’t experience the conversion or adventure like other characters.
Although the revolution was a failure, the revolutionaries were bloodily suppressed; Milton’s revolutionary fighting would never be deducted. To convey this topic, the devout believer Milton described God as a cruel feudal monarchy and a blinkered tyrant at all cost so that he could allude to the cruel repression to the puritans of Charlie â…¡ at that black age. The greatest opponent and the most vicious devil Satan was fashioned into a handsome, tall and smart revolutionary leader for the sake of singing the praises of revolutionaries. Satan’s rebellion was put down by God, and the devil party was thrown into the fire lake for sufferings; however, Satan never loses his fighting will, he was adversely active to organize his own force and waited for rising from the ashes. He built his own palace as a new kingdom in the hell and openly content against God. He preferred being the king in the hell to submitting to God as an official in the heaven. From this we can find his tireless fighting spirit towards the God, the authority and the highest dictator. The author borrowed the image of Satan to express his own anger and contempt towards the feudal tyrant Charlie â…¡ and his firm confidence towards the revolutionary success. Thanks to his revolutionary passion, his Satan was full of sound and color and surpassed his god morally. The hero of this poem is a man named Satan who is banished for challenging the leadership of the clan. This man Satan makes a vow to destroy or corrupt anything created by the clan. This Satan was resourceful, making the best of what he had, very little, and accomplishing his goal. Satan may just be the nonconformist who couldn’t abide by what was considered normal. In any case one must show their admiration for Satan in his unwillingness to serve in Heaven, and then in the way he accepted his resulting role in Hell.
Although it was quite hard to prove who the real hero was in Paradise Lost, as a whole, sprit-internal perfect, intelligent independence and individual power in this masterpiece give people the comprehensive “epic virtue”. Fundamentally, Milton abandoned the whole epic conception in this work and changed it into an experience of immediate concern to himself. This experience wasn’t his flattery to his culture and beliefs, but a real chance for readers’ spiritual practice. No matter how painful a person is, John Milton’s Paradise Lost will awake him up after experiencing such a spiritual trip and convert the intangible blackness into wholesome consciousness and bright mind. People may say that Milton fight for republic form of government and exposed Satan. While from his condemnation to Satan’s audaciousness and infidelity, more than once display the false faces and insincere attitude of English bourgeoisie activists. Yet Satan’s fearless lofty quality, to a large extent, eulogized his contemporaries’ heroic dauntless spirit.
Work Cited
Milton, John, 1608-1674. Paradise Lost. London ; New York :Penguin Books, 2000.