Overview of Paradise Lost by John Milton Essay

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Paradise Lost by John Milton starts in medias res with Satan and his fellow fallen angels chained to the Lake of Fire after being thrown out of Heaven. Typical of Epics, Paradise Lost is a long narrative poem with an elevated style and a central, heroic figure which in this case is Adam and Eve with their biggest adversary being Satan. This Epic Poem also starts with the invocation of the muse to help the somewhat cocky author, "[attempt] things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme" (line 16). Milton then goes on to explain Satan's fall to God. In Book I of Paradise Lost, through the sympathy, glory, and characteristics Milton gives him, Satan begins to look almost like the hero with the plan, confidence, and team to defeat Omnipotent God and take over heaven.
Milton establishes Satan right away as a powerful speaker full of authority and cleverness, but someone who also is tortured by pain and fear. It becomes clear of Satan's motives and the control he will have of the story when in lines 159-162 he says, "To do aught good never will be our task,/ But ever to do ill our sole delight,/ As being the contrary to his high will/ Whom we resist." Satan's main objective is to do evil and cause disturbance to everything in his path causing more trouble for God by trying to undo everything he does; which becomes even more obvious at the end of Book I and into Book II when he talks of God's new creation and the desire to corrupt it. As shown throughout Paradise Lost, but beginning in Book 1 when Satan says "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven", Satan's biggest sin is pride and because of his pride hope is unattainable for him (line 263). Milton suggests that this is the number one reason Satan is not only thrown out of Heaven, but...

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...ed" (lines 55-57; lines 60-69).
As the reader reads of the horror of hell and Satan's struggle, the reader almost becomes sucked in like one of his minions. Milton portrays Satan's position as a sad state that is blamed on everyone else but himself, when in reality that's exactly whose fault it is, Satan's.
Regardless of Satan's pride and vanity and hopeless situation, the quote "The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven" lies as a central theme for Satan's situation (lines 254-255). While Satan and his clan of fallen angels build Pandemonium out of all riches of Hell, they know where they came from and (as shown many times through Satan in the Garden of Eden) miss their old home, so this mindset allows them to cope with Hell and build their own kingdom with Satan as their glorified leader and Beelzebub as his cohort.

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