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.
In this week’s reading ‘Paradise Lost Book 9’, we learn more about how Satan manipulated Eve when he found her alone and told her about the forbidden fruit. He made sure to make her eat the forbidden fruit also bringing to Adam. Upon consumption of the fruit, both Adam and Eve seek to cover their nakedness while blaming each other for their current circumstances.
“God hath assign’d us, nor of me shalt pass
Unprais’d: for nothing lovelier can be found
In Woman, then to studies household good,
And good workers in Her Husband to promote. [ Book 9 231 – 234 ]
Isn’t it surprising how Adam ate the forbidden fruit because he loved Eve and wanted to support her? But when the effect of the forbidden fruit showed and they went naked, Adam accused Eve of making him eat the fruit. In the above lines, he states how God has created them for a purpose and how ungrateful they have become as they disobey the commands given by God. Adam enforces how Eve should be good at maintaining the household and look out for the betterment of him. To be honest, Satan aka the serpent is the mastermind behind this havoc as he intentionally manipulated Eve and took the advantage of her being alone which initially struck this issue. Satan wanted to create this misunderstanding between Adam and Eve and create conflicts that he was successful in doing so. From my perspective, I think Satan did this because he wanted to take revenge on God as God was proud of humans as His Best Creation and gave them recognition and acknowledgment. Therefore, due to that single mistake of Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden, today humans are living on earth and still today just like Adam thinks how women should look for the betterment for their husband existing till date. But then again, isn’t it also men’s duty to look after the betterment of their women and if Adam had never left Eve alone then Satan would have never got the chance to pursue her and she would have never eaten the forbidden fruit.
The second and final video lecture on Paradise Lost is available below! I’ll see you all on Wednesday.
Paradise Lost video lecture 2
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 this week’s reading “Paradise Lost” by John Milton, Book 1 illustrated the message of man’s disobedience and how this caused them to lose their place in Heaven. Moreover, also mentions how Satan belongs to the reign of hell aka burning lake.
“Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the world, and all our woe
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man”
The following lines mentioned above resemble the message we had found in Genesis where Satan aka the serpent had lured Eve to eat the forbidden fruit which she had also shared with Adam. Even though the Creator had warned them not to eat from the Forbidden Tree, Adam and Eve both disobeyed God’s commands which had resulted in disobedience. This disobedience led to punishment for which Adam and Eve were thrown from Paradise and sent to Earth to live. On the other hand, the serpent also known as Satan was also thrown out of Paradise as he manipulated Eve which ended this situation and led to the consequences. Paradise Lost has this familiar tone that also resonates with Genesis of how no one can save you from God’s wrath and punishment for your wrongdoings. From my perspective, I think God didn’t create humans perfectly or rather made us with flaws which sometimes is reflected in our disobedience and wrongdoings. However, I believe the reason behind this is God wants us to seek His forgiveness and appreciate his creation as He is the Most Perfect One. Moreover, my reasoning behind Satan pursuing Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit is that maybe he was jealous of how God had created a superior being than angels. According to Quran, Humans are considered the best creations of God and on the other hand, angels were made out of light. Nevertheless, Angels had to bow before Adam, the first human as God commanded but Satan who used to be one of God’s favorite angels disobeyed to bow saying how he was more superior than a human made out of clay. Therefore, disobedience is just not found in humans but also in angels as they are not perfect.
The link to this week’s video lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost is available below. The video introduces Milton through popular culture, takes a brief look at his life, works, and accomplishments, and focuses on Book 1 with attention to Books 2-5 as well.
I look forward to seeing you all this Wednesday!
Paradise Lost video lecture
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 book focusing on the downfall of man and the story of Adam and Eve eating in the forbidden fruit. The downfall that has had lasting consequences that affects us today.
“ Of man’s first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world and all woe”.
The language is harsh in a sense as well as surprising to a certain degree. You wouldn’t suspect that one piece of fruit could do so much damage to all of mankind. Looking at satan’s response to being casted out of heaven and no longer being one of God’s angels, I can feel the anger that Satan was expressing and the blame that he placed on God. Satan not understanding why he was tempted in the first place.
“ Lay vanquished rolling in the fiery gulf confounded through immortal: but his doom”. Satan having to deal with the consequences of his actions and how his immortality is bittersweet as it is referred to as his doom.”
God says that at the end of it all only he can restore our place in heaven after the punishment he gave us, only if we devote ourselves to him. I wonder why did God bet everything on Adam and Eve and them not eating the fruit. I feel like God knew they couldn’t handle that temptation and still gave it to them anyway, I find that kind of messed up and cruel. To let the actions of two people destroy the chance for others in the future to live in a world without sin is not right in my opinion. It just something we have to deal with as result.