Paradise Lost

Determining the Hero of Paradise Lost

It is important to note that a hero is not always someone who is working for the sake of furthering a just cause and that he does not have to be admired by everyone, including the reader. In fact, John Milton presents his audience with a quite unconventional hero in his Paradise Lost. Instead of highlighting God and his Son as the heroes of his epic, Milton opts to deem a much darker Satan as the hero of Paradise Lost. It would have been quite easy for Milton to appeal to his Protestant background and to render God as the hero. However, it is interesting to see how Satan classifies as more of a hero than the Creator Himself. By definition, a hero is an individual who faces conflict, has the ability to easily sway and motivate his followers and accomplishes some type of major objective. It is very rare for God to be portrayed as the foil to a character that has been epitomized as the antithesis to a supposed Ultimate Hero.

Satan's role as the story's hero is quickly established as the reader is introduced to his struggle in hell during the opening pages of Paradise Lost. If a character faces nothing but compliant characters and situations throughout a storyline, it would be virtually impossible for him to prove his...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 933 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in