Reflection for Nov. 15

In my daily question for book 4 of Paradise Lost, I discussed Satan’s brief passage of self -reflection. It appears that Allie Gillis raised similar questions in her blog post, quote “Why did Milton decide to paint him like this?”

Our class discussion broached this topic, and I was particularly fascinated by the ways that the passage humanized Satan, especially in lines like “Which way I fly is Hell, myself am Hell,” (4.75). It’s the closest we see of his internal thoughts, particularly compared to the all-powerful representation of him in the first two books.

Egt1014 asks if this is “purely an idea of Milton’s that he put in a biblical context,” or if there is biblical basis for this conceptualization of Satan. Once again, our discussion provided come clarity and insight into how Milton chooses to humanize Satan, seen in quotes such as this: “love or hate / to me alike, it deals eternal woe,” (4.70). We discussed how this portrays Satan struggling with very human emotions, and I am curious to see how Milton develops these differences between traditional depictions of Satan and his depiction.

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