Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

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. Satan is directly constrasted by God's Son, who is not a gloriously strong warrior like the antique heroes.

Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

Writers and critics of the Romantic era advanced the notion that Satan was a Promethean hero, pitting himself against an unjust God. Most of these writers based their ideas on the picture of Satan in the first two books of Paradise Lost.

John Milton

In those books, Satan rises off the lake of fire and delivers his heroic speech still challenging God. Satan also calls for and leads the grand council. Finally, he goes forth on his own to cross Chaos and find Earth. Without question, this picture of Satan makes him heroic in his initial introduction to the reader.

Besides his actions, Satan also appears heroic because the first two books focus on Hell and the fallen angels.

Paradise Lost - Wikipedia

Milton, by beginning in medias res gives Satan the first scene in the poem, a fact that makes Satan the first empathetic character. These facts certainly make Satan the most interesting character in the poem — but they do not make him the hero. Moreover, the reader can easily overlook the fact that Milton states that, whatever powers and abilities the fallen angels have in Hell, those powers and abilities come from God, who could at any moment take them away.

No matter how brilliantly Milton created the character of Satan, the chief demon cannot be the hero of the poem. 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.

Describing the tragic hero in the epic poem paradise lost

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.

At first, Satan wishes to continue the fight for freedom from God.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.

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. The Hero in Paradise Lost by John Milton Essay - The Hero in Paradise Lost by John Milton Critics abroad have argued about who the hero is of John Milton's "Paradise Lost:" .

Paradise Lost Title page of the first edition Author John Milton Cover artist J. B. de Medina and Henry Aldrich Country England Language English Genre Epic poetry, Christian theology Publisher Samuel Simmons Publication date Media type Print Followed by Paradise Regained Text Paradise Lost at Wikisource Paradise Lost is an epic poem in .

Related Questions

Satan: The True Hero of Paradise Lost by Milton The identity of the true protagonist in Paradise Lost is a mystery. One would gather that Milton, a Puritan, would have no problem casting God as the hero, and Satan as the antagonist.

Paradise Lost study guide by AvatarClaus includes questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. A narrative poem dealing with heroes and adventures, which has a cosmic or world-wide setting, involves supernatural forces, is written in a ceremonial style What epic simile does Milton use to describe Satan?

Compares Satan to Leviathan.

A Devil of a Problem: Satan as Hero in Paradise Lost