Essay Rhetorical Analysis Of John Milton 's ' Paradise Lost '

787 Words Apr 16th, 2015 4 Pages
If God is all powerful, how does one argue against him? First, God’s authority needs to be taken into question. If all is not as God says it is, then reality is whatever one makes of it. Milton tackles this question in Paradise Lost. In Christian tradition Satan is the first to go against God. Milton’s Satan needs to make an appealing argument to convince others to follow his lead. He does this by championing a world view opposite of God’s. In some ways, Satan is the first idealist to counter God’s firmly realist philosophy.
Satan accomplishes his ambitions through his speech, his rhetoric relies on clever manipulations of one of Aristotle’s means of persuasion, pathos, to make his audience more willing to listen to his ideas. Satan is a master of exploiting the emotions of those around him, and creating empathy where there should be none, after all he is Satan. In book four he seems to be caught in a soul searching moment; questioning everything he has done to lead him to that point: “nay, cursed be thou: since against his thy will / Chose freely what it now so justly rues,”(71-72). Satan is caught in a moment of introspection. Who hasn’t experienced a moment of self doubt? Satan is humanized for his earthly audience, drawing empathetic responses out of unsuspecting readers by showing remorse for his actions. Satan’s rejection of his previous actions make the next lines even more potent; “which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell” (75). Satan’s mind travels to a very dark…

Related Documents