Satan As Hero In Paradise Lost Essay

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Milton’s has rightly said in Book I: The above words indicate that the sense of Satan’s punishment seems lost in the magnitude of it; the loss of infinite happiness to himself is compensated in thought, by the power of inflicting infinite misery on others.

Yet Satan is not the principle of malignity, or of the abstract love of evil, but of the abstract love of power, or pride, of self-will personified.

Slotkin (2004, as cited in Smilie, 2013) is also of the view that "God's punishments turn their victims into allegories of their own crimes" (114), a notion confirmed by Satan's famous assertion "Myself am Hell" (IV. His strength of mind was matchless as his strength of body. He was the greatest power that was ever overthrown, with the strongest will left to resist or to endure. He still stood like a tower, proudly eminent in shape and gesture.

An outcast from Heaven, Hell trembles beneath his feet; Sin and Death are at his heels, and mankind are his easy prey.

Milton’s Devil as a moral being is as far superior to God, as one who perseveres in some purpose which he has conceived to be excellent in spite of adversity and torture, is to one who in the cold security of undoubted triumph inflicts the most horrible revenge upon his enemy." (12).

But the most eloquent and balanced expression of the Romantic view has been given by William Hazlitt.

He expressed this opinion chiefly in relation to the portrayal of Satan who, according to him, has been depicted as a character possessing certain grand qualities worthy of the highest admiration.

Other romantic critics supported this view with great enthusiasm.

Milton was too magnanimous and opens an antagonist to support his argument by the bye-tricks of a hump and cloven feet.

He relied on the justice of his cause, and did not scruple to give the devil his due.


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