Satan's Pride in Paradise Lost

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                        Satan’s Hubris Leads to his Fall

Because of the fallen angel’s obdurate pride, which eventually turns into vanity, Satan reaches his fall.  Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost is a complex character who is meant to be the evil figure in the epic poem.  Whenever given the chance, Satan tries to undermine God, whom he despises.  

  Satan’s pride initiates his disobedience to God.  The opening scene shows Satan and his other former angels on a burning lake as they awaken after they were cast out of Heaven.  From the beginning all the fallen angels realize, “to be weak is miserable/.../ To do aught good never will be [their] task,/ but ever to do ill will be [their] sole delight,/ as being the contrary to His high will/ Whom we resist.” (l. 157-162, I)  Satan accepts that Hell is the “mournful gloom” that they have traded for Heaven, “that celestial light,” (l. 244-245, I) and that the mind is its own place that can “make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” (l. 254-255, I) Satan’s obdurate pride is shown when he says, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” (l. 263, I) When Satan spake, he was boastful as he stressed that they are still united even in their fall.  He assured them, “All is not lost-- the unconquerable will,/ and study of revenge, immortal hate,/ and courage never to submit or yield.” (l. 106-108, I)  Together they joined in “hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven.”  (l. 669, I)

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Satan, with all his pride, believes that he and his demons will actually be able to defeat God.  All the demons have their own plans of how they should go about being in Hell.  Whether to fight back with war against Almighty God, or to be content with making their Hell a Heaven.  They agree with Beezlebub that the right way to defeat God would be to sabotage his “new race, called Man,” whom was “favored more/ of Him who rules above.”  (l. 348-351, II)  They show how conniving they are when Beezlebub says, “Thither let us bend all our ...

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