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Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton Literature & Language Essay (Essay Sample)


In John Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan finds Eve among her roses just before he tempts her to eat the forbidden fruit, and is momentarily overwhelmed: “That space the Evil One abstracted stood / From his own evil, and for the time remained / Stupidly good” (9.463-465). What exactly has happened here? Is this behaviour consistent with Satan’s character before and after this moment?
- Reference and quote the poem


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Paradise Lost by John Milton
Paradise Lost is a poem by John Milton which was published in 1667. The first version contained ten “books” but in 1674 a second edition which consisted of 12 books was published. Critics consider the poem as Milton’s major work. The elegy is about the biblical story of the fallen angel called Lucifer and later on Satan. It also records the fall of man and the role of the devil, Adam and Eve in the whole tale. The purpose of the book according to Milton is to “justify the ways of God do man” (Milton 1.26). As one reads the poem, they are tempted to sympathise with the devil but this is a tactic that the writer uses to warn the reader of the subtleness of the devil in leading a person astray. In the first two “books” of the poem, the devil is presentenced like a hero but as you read on, you realise that this is not the case. He is a villain out to destroy God’s good work. This is evidenced before and after he tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit (Milton 9. 463-465).

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