Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

However, in the edition, Paradise Lost contained twelve books. He also wrote the epic poem while he was often ill, suffering from goutand despite the fact that he was suffering emotionally after the early death of his second wife, Katherine Woodcock, inand the death of their infant daughter. Milton remarried five years later in

Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

A creature, blindly governed by 'pride', 'ambition', 'jealousy', 'hatred', 'malice' and so on, can not be reckoned as the hero of a work, the purpose of which was 'to justify the ways of God to men'. He made it clear that doing anything good should never be his task, but to do ill would be his 'sole delight'.

Like the sea-monster, Leviathan, deluding the sailors, Satan also deceived the angels in Heaven with the temptation of a shelter in waging a regicide, 'an impious war' against God.

Defeated and doomed to suffer in 'bottomless perdition' in Hell, Satan still conspired to erupt in the Garden of Eden and allure the parents of mankind to their fall from the state of perfect happiness.

Such a creature can hardly be the hero; the hero or the protagonist may have committed an error, but viciousness and criminality can never be the characteristics of a hero.

Adam, the father of mankind, a pre-figuration of the 'second Adam' i. Christ, is the true hero of Paradise Lost. Milton surely didn't belong to 'the devil's party'.

For Milton, Satan is the enemy who chooses to commit an act that goes against the basic laws of God, that challenges the very nature of the universe. Satan attempts to destroy the hierarchy of Heaven through his rebellion. Satan commits this act not because of the tyranny of God but because he wants what he wants rather than what God wants.

Satan is an egoist. His interests always turn on his personal desires. Unlike Adam, who discusses a multiplicity of subjects with Raphael, rarely mentioning his own desires, Satan sees everything in terms of what will happen to him. If Satan had been Prometheus, he would have stolen fire to warm himself, not to help Mankind.

The Hero of "Paradise Lost": A Long Debate A research paper for EnglishMilton: To Paradise and Beyond, an upper-level literature course taught by Dr.
A Devil of a Problem: Satan as Hero in Paradise Lost Student Answers roundsk Student Paradise Lost's Satan is perhaps one of the most interesting and complex character to ever be written.

Milton shows his own attitude toward Satan in the way the character degenerates or is degraded in the progression of the poem. Satan is magnificent, even admirable in Books I and II.

By book IV, he is changed. Away form his followers and allowed some introspection, Satan already reveals a more conflicted character. Similarly, Satan's motives change as the story advances. At first, Satan wishes to continue the fight for freedom from God. Later his motive for continuing the fight becomes glory and renown.

Next, the temptation of Adam and Eve is simply a way to disrupt God's plans. And, at the end, Satan seems to say that he has acted as he has to impress the other demons in Hell.

This regression of motives shows quite a fall. Satan also regresses or degenerates physically. Satan shifts shapes throughout the poem.

In Paradise Lost, is the epic hero Satan or Adam? | eNotes

These changes visually represent the degeneration of his character. First, he takes the form of a lesser angel, a cherub, when he speaks to Uriel.

Next, he is a ravening cormorant in the tree of life — an animal but able to fly. Then he is a lion and a tiger — earth-bound beasts of prey, but magnificent. Finally, he is a toad and a snake. He becomes reptilian and disgusting. These shape changes graphically reveal how Satan's actions change him.

Even in his own shape, Satan degenerates. When Gabriel confronts Satan in Book V, none of the angels initially recognize Satan because his appearance is noticeably changed. Likewise, in Book X, when Satan once again sits on his throne in Hell, none of the earlier magnificence of his physical appearance is left.

Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

Now he looks like a drunken debauchee. Though Satan is not heroic in Paradise Lost, he at times does border on tragedy. Ironically, he also borders on comedy.

The comic element associated with Satan derives from the absurdity of his position.Describe Satan's character in Book I of Paradise Lost by John Milton. 1 educator answer Discuss Paradise Lost, written by John Milton, as an epic.

God cannot be the hero of Milton’s epic Paradise Lost, at least not according to the definition of a traditional hero. Heroes are more complex, Aristotle argued, than the classical archetype permits. Nov 06,  · It is only ‘a nonsensical paradox’ to say that Satan is the hero.

Milton had a far different idea of the heroic. “To regard Satan as the hero of Milton's epic is to stultify the poet's whole intention; if he is the hero then Paradise Lost is a bad poem, since Milton will have failed to express its meaning through the hero.” Moreover, Satan's heroic grandeur is not seen so much in action as it is seen in his Reviews: 2.

The story of mankind's fall from Eden as written by John Milton in his epic poem Paradise Lost portrays a classically heroic Satan and a modern hero in God's Son, Jesus Christ.

In Paradise Lost, is the epic hero Satan or Adam? | eNotes

While Satan fits the archetype of an epic hero, he is in fact showing readers that classic heroes are not the true savoirs of the people. He is the hero of the Paradise Lost in the same way Macbeth is the hero of Shakespeare's play, a tragic hero, and a tragic hero by definition begins of high rank, with a noble character and falls.

Milton’s Satan fails as a tragic hero in that “[h]is character does not degenerate; it is degraded” (Hughes ). Given the power of Milton’s portrayal, Satan is arguably the hero of his epic poem and that appears to be Milton’s intent.

Describe Satan in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. | eNotes