Paradise Lost Analysis
Satan has been characterized in the Christian religion as the epitome of evil and the very definition of envy. From the grace of God, he has fallen only to wreak havoc to everything that God has planned and has duly created. His roots as Lucifer, among the most beloved and belonging to the highest order of the archangels, he has transformed into Satan and became the somewhat archenemy of the highest and Supreme Being. Satan symbolized darkness juxtaposed to light and he is evil where it is good. John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ is an epic narrative of a detailed biblical story that is the embodiment of the contrast between heaven and hell. But what John Milton has also done was to personify Satan into a multi-dimensional being that to a certain extent captivates the reader into a more emphatic estimation of his totality as a character.
Satan has been deemed with his congruence to envy. This is the very reason behind the battle that he instigated in Heaven. It was a mutiny in its strictest sense as a revolt against the supremacy of God because of His plans to bring His son to the right hand. “With envie against the Son of God, that day/ Honoured by his great Father, and proclaimed/ Messiah King anointed, could not beared. Through pride that sight, & thought himself impaired” (Milton, lines 662-665). It is by this pride and the inability to accept that God chose another over Him to be placed in the highest honor that brought about a most malevolent plan that Lucifer has concocted against the creator. He took offense to the bypassing that befell him and what he perceived to an affront to his existence as an exalted figure. To a certain extent, one does feel for what he goes through. Though it is to be considered that there are plans laid out and that one does not always get what one wants, this anxiety and agitation are not completely whimsical.
There is also another noteworthy characterization of Satan that substantiates how Satan is able to enforce a full-on war against the very same hierarchy that he had belonged to. Along with the pride and arrogance that was associated with Satan also comes the persona of an enigmatic leader who was able to move an entire army that was willing to go against the greatest and most powerful. “Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised/ Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride/ Conscious of highest worth” (Milton, lines 427-429). In this passage, we envision Satan in his highest form addressing his followers and motivating them to their common purpose. The descriptions that the author used are hinted with the sublime in illustrating him as somewhat majestic and though their design is wicked still he is captivating and laudable to his listeners.
These images of Satan that Milton has devised had hoisted him into a worthy opponent. When the protagonist of a story is no less than God, one would be at a loss to think of any being mortal or not that would even be a shred of a shadow that is able to put a fracture to level the playing field a bit. This is where phrases like lions for lambs would see its fittest meaning. Satan was not a lamb out for slaughter, he was one that did not easily submit but instead tackled the indefeasible. Milton was able to achieve as best as he can a battle for the ages filled with characters such as Satan waging an incessant battle against the odds.
Bibliography Luxon, Thomas H., ed. The Milton Reading Room, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton, November 2011.