Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost Book 4

God and Satan relationship

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Satan, as a character, has lost some of his original glamor and reader sympathy. It is clear in this book that Satan's argument for fighting against God is increasingly irrational. He clearly regrets his decision, the sight of so much light and beauty in the Garden of Eden and in the creatures of Adam and Eve seems to break his heart. He even admits, for the first time in the poem, that God loved him when Satan was serving him. Why then, does he continue? Satan's character in this book sums up Milton's view of evil from a psychological and theological viewpoint. Theologically, it is highly irrational, and therefore outside of the grace of God. Implicit in this irrationality, however, is that true evil is done with full conscienceness of what is being turned away from. Satan remembers heaven, he remembers what goodness is, he knows how to act good, and yet he refuses to do so. He has knowledge, but he uses it irrationally. Psychologically, of course, Satan is in increasing pain, especially when he comes close to beauty and God's light.