Satan’s Morals (Paradise Lost Book 4)

Satan is revealed as much more complex in this book. His inner turmoil has been hinted at already, but the entire beginning of this book really gives us a perspective on how he feels and why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
His troubl’d thoughts, and from the bottom stirr
The Hell within him, for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step no more then from himself can fly
By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair
That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie
Of what he was, what is, and what must be

IV.18-25.

This quote describes Satan’s doubts about if what he is doing is right. Upon seeing how beautiful Earth is, he laments what he could have had, had he not been infected with envy. He brings hell with him wherever he goes because he is the embodiment of hell, preventing him from ever fully being satisfied with what he is and where he is. The last line, “of what he was, what is, and what must be” shows that he knows he has to continue being evil. Later, he even says that he knows he can never truly be sorry for the things that he did, and he can never truly be forgiven.

I think Satan is a really interesting character, and I hope that as the story goes on, we’ll get to see more of his inner thoughts. Right now, I find myself wondering if he even wants to be doing what he’s doing anymore.

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