Character Sketch of Satan in Paradise Lost

Character Sketch of Satan in Paradise Lost

๐Ÿ“ƒTable of Contents:-

John Milton

Born 9 Dec 1908, London
Died 8 nov 1674, London
Profession Civil servant, poet
Era Restoration, Renaissance
Notable works Paradise Lost, Areopagitica, Lycidas
Language English, French, Latin, Spanish, Italian Hebrew, Greek etc.

๐Ÿ“„ Introduction : Satan :-

Amongst all the fictional characters in English literature, that of Milton's Satan remains the most striking and disputable. Satan is at once most exalted and depraved being. Many readers as well as critics feel that he is the real hero of paradise lost. This assessment comes on the argument of his strong will and overpowering of doubts and fears in order to achieve his goal. 
Paradise Lost
Created by John Milton
First published 1667
Genre Epic Poetry
Characters Satan, Adam, Eve, God, Son of God, Raphael etc.
Followed by Paradise regained
Volumes 10 books (original)
Theme Fall of Man

✒️Character Sketch of Satan :-

Character Sketch of Satan in Paradise Lost
Source : google

Satan, being extremely complex character, his evaluation from one stand point can't be correct. Yet he is a majestic character, not afraid of being damned eternally; and naturally remains unafraid of any threat or disaster.

Satan's character can be discussed under following heads:

Let's have a detailed look of these characteristics of Satan's character:

1) Satan a leader :-

Satan's leadership qualities make him stand out across the  poem as a real leader . He has good rhetorical and manipulation qualities. He fills up fallen angels with new energy and hope, as is evident from these lines-
"Fallen Cherub, to be weak hi miserable,
doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight".

2) Satan as an Rebellious :-

Satan starts rebellion against the proclamation that henceforth everyone should worship Messiah. Satan, unable to digest this command, makes this injustice the pretext to draw away a third of angels to his side. This exhibits his leadership qualities.

3) Satan's Strong Will :-

Satan is adamant on his goal. His strong will never lets him yield to  the almighty. The lines which he said are the perfect example-
"What though field be lost?
All is not lost, the unconquerable will,
All study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yeild".

4) Satan's pride and jealousy:-

Satan's tragic flaw is his pride. His ambition has nothing to do with his desire for praise rather over mastering self-esteem. Milton emphasises another defect in Satan's character, his jealousy. After being thrown out of heaven he becomes jealous of man. This jealousy accounts for his attempts to seduce Eve. Hence he attempts to spite the almighty who has created Adam and Eve.

5) Satan as a heroic figure:-

Satan is hailed as a hero of paradise lost because of multiple reasons, such as:-
a) his strong will,
b) his early introduction in the book,
c) his speeches being rhetorical,
d) struggle against opposing forces.

These make Satan seem like heroic but not hero. This is nothing but his self delusion. Milton never admires him as is apparent from his comments to show us the vanity beneath the surface glamour.

Milton deliberately makes Satan look heroic. Satan's confident that he could overthrow the god exhibits his vanity and self conceit. Despite reverses he doesn't leave the evil path.

6) flaw in Satan's character :-

The great defect in Satan's character is his over- weaning pride. Milton depicts Satan as an embodiment of over self esteem and vanity. There are some good points in his pride but this pride becomes the cause of his final overthrow.

Thus much can be written about the Milton's strong characterization of Satan who is one of the supreme figure in the world of English literature.

๐Ÿ’กRead More in English Literature :-

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