Paradise Lost Book 1 Reflection 11/8

Before I jump into talking about Satan, I know we talked about the first 26 lines, but I just wanted to reiterate how incredibly egotistical and mad it is for Milton to claim that the Holy Spirit is his muse, but also humble in a way by giving all the credit to God, and to believe that anyone, not just himself, was capable of coming to an understanding of the divine. I’ve never really seen something like this where someone can come across as egotistical, but at the same time as humble but it’s really interesting. The whole backstory of Milton and his creation of Paradise Lost is fascinating. I haven’t read great epics like the Iliad or the Aeneid, but I know muses are traditionally invoked. Milton invokes his muse, and by doing this it seems like he could be elevating himself above former poets, claiming he has the knowledge of the Holy Spirit and that his story is of fundamental importance and truth. Moving on from that, I want to get into the different interpretations of Satan as the unsung hero of the story, or the evil but sympathetic villain. I get it’s the point, but it still feels weird to sympathize with Satan, and almost root for him. We talked in class about how Satan is a sympathetic character, he is flawed, struggles with self-doubt and insecurities, and defeated. We also talked about Milton’s understanding of good and evil, and that everyone is capable of becoming corrupted and doing bad, an idea I can buy into so that adds more sympathy to the character for me. He’s almost portrayed as the protagonist in this book, someone who has to find the strength to overcome obstacles. Famous quotes like “Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n” make him come across as this heroic and defiant military general, who feels like he’s been betrayed enough to never give up his fight against God.

+ posts

Leave a Reply