The Interject Of Free Will In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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Perhaps the most admirable quality of a poet is his or her ability to develop and combine ideas, images, metaphors, and symbols while uniquely interpreting these literary devices to reflect character’s individual perspectives. The seventeenth-century author, John Milton, emerged as a crucial and contemporary innovator of the epic genre with his poem Paradise Lost. Milton’s epic is “preeminently a poem about knowing and choosing—for the Miltonic Bard, for his characters, and for the reader” (Lewalski, 460). Principally, Paradise Lost embodies the subject of free will by exemplifying the opposition and incorporation of morality, discernment, and rigorous judgment; Milton truly prompts the “education of readers by exercising them in religious …show more content…
Satan and Beelzebub play the leading roles in launching war against God and embody the universal subject of free will. Yet, although these two characters embody a common subject, they signify two opposing perspectives within the subject itself. Satan on the continuity of warring against God continuously believes in his superiority and bravery; his hatred and vengeance motivate Satan to dispute God 's authority. Whereas, Beelzebub slightly differs from Satan’s narcissistic ambitions and proves himself to be a more “rational” character.
Paradise Lost exemplifies the notion that although a character may fit into a particular archetype, free will and one’s individual perspective can counter these analogous traits wielding them into a contrary views. Satan and Beelzebub are initially introduced as God 's fallen creations: “Fallen cherub, to be weak is miserable, / Doing or suffering” (Book I, lines 157-158). The two fallen angels, Satan and Beelzebub, are portrayed as brilliant orators and through their powerful rhetoric they are able
…show more content…
Although these two characters embody a common subject, they signify two opposing perspectives within the subject itself. Satan on the continuity of warring against God continuously believes in his superiority and bravery; his hatred and vengeance motivate Satan to not only dispute but also mimic God 's authority. Whereas, Beelzebub slightly differs from Satan’s narcissistic ambitions and proves himself to be a more “rational” character. Aside from being motivated by malicious and reprisal intentions, Satan also envies God’s authority. Satan’s envious nature dominates his personality, in order to mimic and rival the authority of God, Satan immediately establishes himself in a position of power by claiming the role as the leader of the fallen. Accordingly, Satan urges his shattered forces to “Receive thy new possessor” (Book I, line 252). The key difference between these two characters then is evident in their consideration for authority. Beelzebub appears content with his position in the hierarchy; he is satisfied to be Satan 's “lieutenant” as opposed to usurping the throne of power for himself, Beelzebub boldly declares his colossal loyalty and faithfulness to Satan: “O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers, / That led th ' embattled Seraphim to War / Under thy conduct, and in dreadful

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