Paradise Lost Essay

1535 WordsFeb 6, 20137 Pages
PARADISE LOST: "In writing Paradise Lost, Milton was of the Devil's party without knowing it" Comment on the view. It was William Blake who observed that Milton belonged to the Devil's party without knowing it. Theremark implies that Milton unconsciously glorified Satan, especially in Book I of Paradise Lost. Thispoint of view is typically of the Romantic spirit, and it makes Satan the real hero of Paradise Lost. TheRomantics admired undefeatable courage and love of freedom that Satan shows in Book I of ParadiseLost. However one cannot admire these qualities as good in themselves, ignoring the moral valuesconnected with them.Satan certainly possesses heroic qualities in Paradise Lost, but, if Milton glorified him, it is done consciously. But knowingly or unknowingly, Milton is never on the side of the Devil. Satan was requiredto be made of heroic dimensions to make him a fitting enemy of God and to impress on the reader the dangerous power of evil. Furthermore, if Satan had been of less than ordinary stature, the deception of the Mother of Mankind would lose its effectiveness. Above all, Milton was writing a special kind of epic-an epic of cosmic proportions which required its characters to be impressive. Satan cannot, however be regarded the hero of the poem merely because he is cast in the heroic mould. The courage, the determination, the philosophical statements, the love of freedom, all these qualities lose their value when the purpose behind them becomes clear—and it is clear not merely in Milton's commentaries, but in Satan's speeches also. One should not be deceived by showiness of Satan rhetoric. Milton's presentation of Satan is in no way against his commentary. Satan is the negation of good. He comes out in all his pride and evil. He wants to begin war against God by stealth, and sneaky way in which he entered the Garden of Eden to harm the Adam and

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