Satan as the Hero in Paradise Lost

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Name-Arpan Naithani Roll No- 21111744 Satan as the Hero in Paradise Lost Paradise Lost (1667) is an epic poem written by John Milton to ‘justify the ways of God to men’. The poem is written in blank verse narrating the story of the creation of man, the rebellion of Satan and the Fall of man. One of the most fiercely contested debates has been the question of who is the hero in Paradise Lost. This assignment intends to study the reasons for the candidature of Satan for the position of the epic hero, and to evaluate the suitability of the same. Milton writes Paradise Lost as an epic poem and true to it nature, begins with an invocation to the Muse, Urania, in lines 6 to 26 (Paradise Lost, Book I). As Milton is a Christian, he cannot invoke one of the traditional pagan muse and chooses a Christian muse. Throughout the poem, Milton’s extensive use of classical allusions, along with his representations of various scenes in the poem that draw parallel with events in epics, firmly establish the epic credentials of Paradise Lost. Considering Satan as a candidate for the hero in Paradise Lost would appear to be a ludicrous proposition for anyone uninitiated to the text. After all, Satan stands for all that corrupts the human world, he is humanity’s adversary, the manifestation of evil. However, the portrayal of Satan’s actions and demeanour in the text makes comparison with the traditional epic heroes viable, at least from a technical perspective. What defines an epic hero? An epic hero could be a distinguished warrior or a leader but more importantly an eloquent speaker who can influence greatly by the means of his address. He undertakes a quest, embarks on a perilous journey which tests his endurance, courage and cunning. He displays skills and dexterity but usually has a fatal flaw. He takes on adversaries with

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