Analysing Satan's Speech (Lines 494 - 549) of Milton's Paradise Lost

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Analysing Satan’s Speech (Lines 494 – 549) of Milton’s Paradise Lost Lines 494 to 549 of Paradise Lost, are about Satan for the first time approaching and addressing Eve. The entire section includes many sexual references, which create a sense of an approaching loss of innocence and forebode the coming-up Fall. It is another step in preparing the basis, for the following Fall of Man from Eden. The first line of the section makes very clear to the reader that Satan’s plan is evil and is going to be harming Mankind, referring to him as “the enemy of Mankind”, but it is also added, that Satan is caught in his role, as there is some prison-like images added by “enclosed” and “inmate”, which might make the reader pity him. His approach is explained in great detail, including many “winding”-words, which could be seen as a reference on how he is going to take her in, with his words, like “indented waves”, “circular base”, “circling spires” and “floated”. The mention of his eyes being like a carbuncle, adds to the evil description, as red eyes are usually a sign of evil, it also adds Milton’s authorial voice, as the carbuncle, signifies Christ, as the light of the world. After that it goes into references to Classical Myths, mentioning Cadmus and Hermione, which were turned into snakes for disbelieving Dionysus that he is a god, Aesculapius, who was presented as a flashing-eyed serpent, Ammonia and Capitoline, who were incarnated as snakes. Those comparisons may be used as manifestations in contrast with Satan’s use of the serpent. Milton also added an acrostic in lines 510 – 14, maybe showing how slyly Satan has entered Satan and is now parting Adam and Eve. This is followed by an epic simile of a ship taking across an estuary or headland, where wind is often contrary. This is also used to describe Satan’s approach and may be used to show how skilful Satan is in it.

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