He is heroic because he is persistent in pursuing what he believes to be true, which is made clear in one of the important quotes from “Paradise Lost”
“The mind is its own place,
and in itself/Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven
./What matter where, if I still be the same….” (Book I, ll. 254-256).
He wants to be different, he dare to challenge god, he expresses his doubt and questions that he has because he thinks that doing so is the only way to find answers. He can be seen as a heroic figure, for he gives voice to what we ourselves might think or feel but are afraid to say. Satan raises legitimate questions: Is it wrong for humans to think that they are equal to God, since humans were supposedly created in God’s own image? The question is a bold one, to my mind the honest reader might secretly admire that Satan was courageous enough to ask God this question.
Book II of Paradise Lost by John Milton reveals some of Satan’s heroic characteristics, especially when contrasted with God. As ruler of Hell, He does’ t fight because he is evil, he does’ t fight for fame, he doesn’t fight for hate. Satan strives for equality and fairness. He fights for a cause that he believes in, and fighting for a just cause is a very well known measure of heroism.
In Book II of Paradise Lost, Satan calls his band of rebel angels to decide how to fight against god.. He asks his followers, “[B]y what best way…Whether of open war or covert guile,/We now debate; who can advise, may speak” (Book II, ll. 40-42). because none of his followers volunteer, Satan Is ready to battle against god by himself. Of course this action was the cause of admiration, which made him hero.
when one reaches Book III, the favorable image of Satan as a heroic freedom fighter
deteriorates and in the end he is transformed into a beast. as the story advances he experiences a strong regression and all his seemingly heroic traits are reduced to nothing. Satan loses his heroic qualities. He tricks Adam and Eve into their Fall, a non-heroic action. Furthermore, he realizes that Hell is inside him and is part of his being, which shows a digression of his character. And finally, he turns into a snake, losing his former angelic appearance. we slowly but gradually see the digression
of Satan’s character and his circumstances. Satan indeed has many heroic qualities, but they are rooted in evil and sin and his heroic qualities vanished as the plot progresses. I think and I believe that rebelling against God can never be heroic. Furthermore, Satan cannot be the hero, since his motives are impure and he is driven by jealousy and pride. By the time the plot advances to
book IV, the idea of Satan as the hero, if he ever was one, seems to be finished when Satan
himself mentions: “Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell”
Milton’s Satan is a leader whom we would follow unto the gates of Hell. We know he has a plan. We know he has our interests in mind. We know he cares for us in his heart, he is so good that we fail to realize he is deceiving us— and perhaps himself.
Before I finish my presentation I want to compare Milton’s Satan to Dante’s Satan. Dante’s Satan has no heroic qualities at all. He is an ugly brute, not able
to move. he is nothing more than a mere negation of God.
So why I compare this two Satan each other. In medieval centuries , the role of the devil was still very clearly defined. He was pure evil and Dante
placed him in his Hell. As for Milton’s Satan maybe its romantic period that rises so many question about Satan heroism. readers in the Romantic period were influenced by the period they lived in. Readers
admired him for his pursuit of liberty, individualism and determination, which became
popular themes at the end of the eighteenth century.
From my point of view Satan can be described as a free spirit and it’s seems there is no boundaries to his freedom. He is able to bear the weigh of impossible pain and suffering while still moving forward and fighting for what he believes in.
And still this is a question which we can’t answer directly yes or no.