Evil In Milton's Paradise Lost

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In the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost, he describes evil’s violent and elusive nature. Satan has been recently sent to Hell, a place that is the epitome of the character of Evil. Taking in the atmosphere he says, “As one great Furnace flam’d, yet from those flames/No light, but rather darkness visible” (I. 37-48). The portrayal of Hell as a lightless fire showcases its violent nature. The word “fire” serves as an indicator of evil’s anger, intense, and powerful nature. Labeling the fire as lightless relieves all of the positive connotations that can be associated. Furthermore, Milton also reveals evil’s presence when describing its status as an outcast. He says, “All hope excluded thus, behold instead/Of us out-cast, exil’d, his new delight,/Mankind …show more content…
In Milton’s second book, while describing some of the deadly sins he says, “Moloch…the strongest and the fiercest Spirit/That fought in Heav’n; now fiercer by despair” (I. 45-46). Moloch, meaning wrath, is portrayed as the fighter spirit. Moloch’s motivation is to fight Michael, the warrior of God’s army of angels. Moloch’s determination is driven by a deep wrath that he possesses. As “fiercer by despair,” Moloch’s character operates through emotional forces and pulls (I. 46). While evil might be cunning, Moloch’s behavior describes a different kind of evil. Moloch’s motives are rash and impulsive, fueled by this inner “despair” (I. 46). Furthermore, Milton portrays another one of evil’s motives through the daughter of Satan. Satan’s daughter, while trying to manipulate her father to stop attacking his son, speaks to Satan’s inner rage saying, “For him who sits above and laughs the while/At thee ordain’d his drudge, to execute/Whate’er his wrath, which he calls Justice, bids,/His wrath which one day will destroy us both” (II. 734-737). She is referring to God, who sits in Heaven and proceeds to “laugh” at Satan’s downfalls (II. 734). Describing God’s punishment as “his wrath, which he calls Justice…” Satan’s daughter plays to her father’s likeness while also insinuating Satan’s true motive (II. 736). Satan’s evil actions are based in vengeance. Like Moloch, his actions are intertwined with powerful …show more content…
After introducing the sinful spirits, Beelzebub describes a plan. Evil’s goals in this passage are to “seduce” the other angels to join the literal dark side as well as “prove [God] thir foe” (I. 368-369). These evil angels are driven by vengeance like Satan. The fallen angels feel wronged and in their vengeful state seek to “abolish [God’s] own works” hoping it would provide a “common revenge, and interrupt his joy” (370-371). In accordance with evil’s motives, the goals are driven by emotions. Through these undertakings, Evil will receive “our Joy upraise/in [God’s] disturbance…” (I. 373). Furthermore, evil continues to show its true ambitions through Beelzebub. Evil’s goal in this is to “either with Hell fire/…waste [God’s] whole creation” (I. 365). Satan’s angels want to “drive [the holy angels] as [they] were driven [from heaven]” (I. 366). To complete their goals, the angels say that “some advantageous act may be achiev’d/By sudden onset” (I. 363-364). The ambition also stems from an emotional stimulant—revenge. Satan’s angels want to declare war on their previous leader because they’ve become outcasts and have been shunned by God and his

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