Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost: Satan on Niphates

In Paradise Lost, Milton plays with the preconceived notions of his readers by presenting perspectives perhaps never before imagined. God is not strictly the protagonist and Satan is not strictly the antagonist, on the contrary Satan is presented in a triumphant, glorious manner though ironically he has just fallen from heaven and been condemned to hell. In Satan's eyes, God is oppressing him, and he is doing nothing more than Milton himself is doing in a literary context. Milton is a revolutionary, and writes that which is not commonly accepted. He has radical ideas on how society should and could be run better. Such parallels can be drawn with Satan, for he too is trying to make his own "heaven out of hell" and quite literally rise against the oppressive force in his life. Theologically, Satan's thought process on being evil is highly irrational, and thus he is cast outside God's good graces. What is inherent in this speech, however, is that true evil is done consciously only when good is knowingly turned away from. It is clear from the distinctions between Satan's use of first and second person that he has the knowledge of what is good, and yet by the end of the speech he still expels any goodness...

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