Nov 22, 2016

Satan in Paradise Lost Book I: A Glorified Spirit or a Spirit Reprobate?

Satan fallen from heaven

One of the primary questions that perplexes the readers of Milton's Paradise Lost concerns the poet's delienation of Satan, the chief of the Fallen angels. Throughout the first two or three books of Paradise Lost, it appears as if Satan is the hero of the poem. This is partly because the focus of the poem is all on him. It is also because the first book establishes his strength and struggle. Milton plays against our expectation by spending the first quarter of his epic telling us about the antagonist rather than the protagonist so that by the time we come across Adam and Eve, we are given a profound understanding of the force they are up against.