Paradise Lost

Satan's soliloquy

Examine Satan's soliloquy from lines 32-113. What is the basic dramatic purpose of such a speech – why should we hear all this? What impression does it give us of Satan?


Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Satan is often called a sympathetic character in Paradise Lost, despite being the source of all evil, and in the first chapter the reader is presented with some of Satan's frustration. Satan tells his army that they were tricked, that it wasn't until they were at battle that God showed the true extent of his almightiness. If they had been shown this force previously, not only would the rebel angels not have declared war on heaven, but Satan, also, would never have presumed that he himself was better than God. Now they have been irreversibly punished for all eternity, but, rather than feel sorry for themselves or repent, Satan pushes his army to be strong, to make "a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."