Milton described how Satan was facing an anxiety moment when he got onto the earth. He felt confused that he even compared what he had lived on earth; it was like hell for him. Later on, after he changes his mood, he sees himself admiring the garden of Eden, where he can identify two humans living there. (book IV).
After satan noticed their presence, he was delighted with their naiveness and heart’s pureness. Still, as the evil being that he was, he went to sneak and hear their conversation regarding that they must stay away from the “tree of knowledge” because it was the only thing forbidden to them, and the rule given to them of never eat from it or they will pay with their lives. Satan’s despicable inner self kept coming out as he continued stalking them. His enviousness increases as long as he notices the tremendous harmonic relationship between them.
He probably felt sad because he did not have a companion or somebody to love and love him back in the same way, but mostly, his envy was due to their loyalty and praise to God. His primary frustration was that he wanted to be greater than God in power and worships; in other words, he hated them because he wanted them to obey him and adore him as their God, and in reality, he did not exist for them.
His dilemma of feelings against God did not disappear with him coming down to earth and distracting himself watching “the man.” Instead, his anger and jealousy stood the same. Also, it is curious that after he falls to study the new creature and the new world, his intentions move onto the desire of being appreciated and obey for this lovely and pure creation.
This week’s assignment was to read books 9, 10, and 12 of, “Paradise Lost”. One of the main themes displayed throughout the piece is the importance of obedience towards God. The story essentially provided a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of disobeying the word of God.
What better can we do, then to the place
Repairing where he judg’d us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent, and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air [ 1090 ]
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.
I pulled the quote above from the end of Book 10 where both Adam and Eve are essentially choosing between obedience and disobedience. They are praying to God for forgiveness. They are realizing that in order for God to be merciful on them they must repent for their mistakes, unlike Satan. Satan displays a firm disobedience and does not wish to repent for his sins, depicting the biggest difference between man and Satan. While God is still going to punish them for their wrong doings, he still forgives them and allows them into Heaven after their deaths. I would like to point out the use of repetition by both Adam and the narrator that was used in this quote but also the last paragraph of the piece. Adam and the narrator overlap lines, the pronouns are changed but the repetition of the lines remains the same. Being that this scene is very important to the piece as a whole, this repetition adds an overall dramatic effect to the scene.
In book two, Milton narrates the story of how a rebel Satan reunited with all the fallen angels In Satan’s temple (the pandemonium) defeated by the almighty and refuses to “give heaven for lost.” The demons discussed the idea to seduce and corrupt God’s new creation, ” the man,” whom they consider a weaker creature but with an extremely high value in God’s eyes. They thought by corrupting the man, they would triumph for the demons by damaging something so special for God. After a council meeting, they all voted and agreed that satan would break the nine sacred gates as nobody wanted to go as a volunteer to observe “the man and the new world.”
Then satan went to pass by the gates. He realized the entrances were guarded by Sin and Death. after Sin explained to Satan that if doors got opened to him, he would not be able to enter again to hell. He agreed to go to earth anyways. In his fall downward, he encountered himself with five creatures as Chaos, rumor tumult, chance, and confusion. he made a deal with Chaos that to get his way straight to earth, he would allow Chaos to create more disorder. He was kind not only to observe the ” man but also to bring him to hell and fuel God’s anger. But later, he realized his power was not enough to beat God’s power.
This journey of satan and the demons behind him (Sin and Death) was the beginning of an endless story of the evil and the good for the man’s soul. Evil is always trying to seduce the man. For example, when Jesus was taken to the desert and put on test by satan during long forty days offering him all the world’s kingdoms (Mark 1:12). In the same way, satan strategy for man’s soul offering in exchange power, money, and fame. While God will not need to buy souls but let the man come to his path to heaven by his own will, and instead of offering material properties and vanities, he offered the man eternal life along with him and wrapped in his arms.
In Paradise Lost, the focus on the empowerment of Satan and his angels in redeeming themselves from their Fall provides a very interesting critique on the role of God and Heaven. Rather than him being put on a pedestal, we as readers are continuously encouraged to question the judgement and intentions of God, especially when his judgement seems to result in mass suffering.
“Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of Warr, what e’re his business be
Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire,
Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;” (Lines 146-152)
In these lines, as everyone in Hell is facing a range of emotions from pride to despair, Beezelbub is questioning as to what God has in store for them here in this very dark place. Having already suffered enough being there, he believes that God is keeping them all there simply for his satisfaction. In doing so, it will “suffice his vengeful ire”. Beezelbub also considers themselves God’s new slaves that will have to do everything that he needs. This even makes Beezelbub consider the purpose of continuing life is if they are all supposed to live forever in this dark place within the world.
As this play draws plot lines from many of the texts we referenced earlier on in the semester, all had provided different views of God. Here this portrayal of God supports the view of how flawed of a character he is, especially with his power to create mass suffering. The Book of Job comes to mind for the suffering that God allowed Job to endure to test his loyalty to him. Like Job, Satan and the rest who are in Hell with him, are forced to suffer with their own emotions and find justification in God’s reasoning for their suffering. While Job still has a more positive view of God, despite all the suffering endured that would later reward him, the suffering that God causes Satan and his angel’s solidify their motive for revenge.
In Book 1 of Paradise Lost, Milton’s poem discusses man’s disobedience toward God and the results of that disobedience. Milton specifically points out Satan’s deception towards Adam and Eve that caused them to be disobedient to God. Milton goes into detail about Satan’s freedom and ego. He states “We shall be free; th’ […] To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends. Th’ associates and copartners of our loss (Book 1,259-264). The word “free” is important here because after being under the care of God for so long, Satan might have gained his “worth” by having his throne. His character shows how big his ego is because he hates “serving” the God that created him in the first place and provided for him. He rather be surrounded by hellfire that is very hot than be at the coolness where God is protecting him from danger.
To modern audiences, Satan may seem heroic as he faces problems to make Heaven out of Hell. With the support of his friends, he was able to think he was superior to God. His “faithful friends” supported his “reign” in hell, leading him to earn trust and continue his war against God and the other angels. This situation shows that it takes a team to fulfill a task, because, in Satan’s case, he has earned some “faithful friends” that support his “ambitions”, however, if there were no “friends” he would have given up on his “reign in hell”. He may seem like a hero because he was doing what he wished to do in unison with his friends and was not blocked by anyone from doing what he liked to do. Similar to today’s world, where people do what they wish to do because they feel it would make their surroundings or themselves happier but don’t see the consequences that come with the actions.
This week’s reading focused on the topic of man’s disobedience through a deeper discussion of Satan’s character. Satan is still introduced as the cause of humans’ downfall but seeing the text from Satan’s perspective introduces pity towards him. This Devine being lost a war against God and spends the rest of his life holding on to that hatred to get revenge. One interesting characterization of Satan is described in the following passage:
“All these and more came flocking; but with looks
Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear’d
Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief
Not in despair…” (522-526, Book 1).
This is the moment where Satan presented a speech towards the fallen angels. The text describes the beings as sorrowful since all of them had lost their paradise in heaven. Satan, like a true leader, speaks with great passion and confidence. Instead of fixating on his loss, Satan is already preparing for battle, which uplifted everyone’s spirits. The speech Staten gives includes words like “warlike, trumpets, loud, mighty, proud honor, gems, and shout”(530-540). These words sound like a rime of celebration and excitement, which is quite the contrast to the defeat of the fallen angels. These words are what allowed his army to come together in solidarity almost in a beautiful godly way. It was quite the opposite of what we saw in the fight between God and Satan. That fight happened because God was unable to create solidarity, hence why many rebelled. In Satan’s speech, there was not a single person who rebelled, thus why Satan’s speech portrays him in a heroic light.
The last thing to consider is the hierarchy presented in lines 666 and 667. Milton introduces “hell, highly, and Highest” in that order to showcase opposition to Satan’s heroic light. Even though Satan can unite the fallen angels, he is still in hell, which is the very bottom of the hierarchy. It is interesting to see that despite Satan’s efforts, he cannot compete against the natural and established order.
In Book 1 of “Paradise Lost” the author John Milton brought up the idea that there is a division between Heaven and Hell. The point that Milton is making with this is that there are two sides to everything. For instance, the theme of obedience and rebellion are mentioned as the cause between the divide.
“He trusted to have equaled the Most High,
If he opposed; and with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God”
In this quote, Satan is believed to have been an equal to God in power and had attempted to overthrow him. Reading this makes me think of a common cliche to classical works of literature where there is a conflict within the family that leads to the children rebelling against the will of the parents, usually the father. This book is literally saying that Satan is like the son and God is his father, which implies that the whole cause of war against Heaven could have been a deep rooted problem between them that Satan was trying to address. As I said earlier there are two sides to everything, so the reasoning behind Satan rebelling against God could be about Satan believing that he could do a better job ruling the universe. Satan would never have thought that he could do better if God were a perfect ruler. Who’s to say that Satan wouldn’t be more fitted to rule Heaven, since he is clearly capable of ruling Hell, which is probably more difficult to reign over rebellious sins than over obedient angels. The reason Satan lost was probably because he was outnumbered by most of the angels who showed greater loyalty to God than the band of rebels he gathered.
This week we look toward Book 1 of Paradise Lost in its description of Satan’s fall from Heaven. Of particular interest was the following quote:
“Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls” (Book 1, Paradise Lost)
Satan believes that there must be a reason for the events that have transpired and assumes there is more going on behind the scenes. The idea that God must have left their spirit and strength intact seems especially in question because it suggests it may be required for what is to come. Satan mulls over the future and has been given enough free will to not undergo being subjected to slavery at the hands of God while also questioning his motives. The pains that follow encompass the punishment Satan will face since his descent into hell and surmises that God deems this a cruel enough punishment. Within the quote he makes God seem cold and calculating in his actions making himself sound innocent while having God sound sinister. It seems as though God has a vengeance he must enact almost like something he must see through to the end. The service mentioned above encompasses the suggestion of slavery as a means to an end. Slavery is what would allow Satan to transcend his own standards and allow God to see him as mightier or more than as an instrument for God to use as he sees fit establishing his role as a conqueror in his mind. Satan believes God is the one to be called into question, not him, for he has done nothing wrong.
In Book 1 of Paradise Lost, John Milton mentioned the loss of paradise with Adam and Eve and discussed how Adam and Eve’s disobedience occurred due to Satan’s deception. Milton wrote about Satan’s thoughts regarding Hell from Satan’s point of view after being sent there by God. One of the things that Satan said was:
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n (Paradise Lost, Book 1)
In this quote, Satan describes what he called “the” mind, rather than explicitly referring to his mind or someone else’s mind. This means that “the mind” can mean his mind or possibly Adam or Eve’s mind. Regarding the idea of the mind, Satan said that it can make a “Heav’n of Hell” or a “Hell of Heav’n”, meaning that the hypothetical mind can create both a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven. This interpretation varies depending on which mind Satan is referring to. If he is referring to his mind, then he may be saying that he can make Hell Heaven, or seem like it, and the same vice versa. This can be interpreted as a threat towards God because God separated Heaven and Hell with the intention that they don’t become each other. Satan saying that he can make one like the other is similar to him saying that he wants to mess with God’s creation of the world. If Satan is referring to the minds of Adam and Eve, this quote can be applied to the minds of humanity as a whole. From that angle, it can be interpreted that human minds can make Heaven Hell, like Adam and Eve did by committing a sin and getting themselves kicked out of paradise, and also Hell Heaven in the way that humanity became successful despite all the challenges and evil in the world.
This week’s reading was, “Lost Paradise: Books 1,2 and 4” by John Milton. While reading this piece something in particular stuck out to me as interesting, the theme of gender. John Milton focuses on gender roles between men and women, specifically the first man and women: Adam and Eve. There are many instances where he displays the idea that women are inferior to men. The quote below uses excellent word choice to further explain the gender roles in this piece:
“My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst 
Unargu’d I obey; so God ordains,
God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more
Is woman’s happiest knowledge and her praise.” (Book 4)
Eve is addressing Adam as her author and disposer. He has complete control over her. In a way she is accepting the position that she falls into. She is fully reliant on Adam; he has all the power in this situation. He has a direct line to God; he then passes down the information to Eve. Eve understands that Adam has this direct connection, and she does not. She has come to terms with her position. She is viewed as inferior to Adam. Adam’s position is viewed at a higher standard than Eve’s. In my opinion, the word choices used in this quote are key component in understanding the stance that Eve is taking on this matter. She is coming to the understanding that she is viewed as inferior to Adam and in a way is trying to embrace the position that she is in. Eve uses the words, “my author and disposer… I obey” which further display her point of view.