Theme Of Shame In Paradise Lost

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In chapter four of Paradise Lost, shame plays a major role in Satan’s characterization not only because it brings attention to his disfigured shape, but also to the readers’ pathos. That is, although shame makes Satan and the readers aware of his vileness, it also reminds them both of the alleged-mistreatment by God. For instance, in Satan’s soliloquy, he states, “but other Powers as great [as I]/ Fell not, but stand unshak’n” (Book IV, 63-4). Satan strategically compares himself to other powerful beings to manipulate the audience into making them feel sorry for him because he was the only one to be shaken, while others stood unmoved. However, while Satan uses this manipulative technique, he also reveals the truth in his story: “Nay curs’d …show more content…
That is to say, because Satan addresses his justifications and the decisions he had made, he no longer fears shame because there is nothing else for him to lose. The syntax and tone of these lines, as in the beginning, pull on the heartstrings of the audience because they produce an image of departure since Satan continues to suppress his shame. In other words, Satan makes his final decision to stay in his fallen state because he realizes that the truth behind his sinister acts is overwhelming to face. In fact, the rhetoric in his final lines are of acceptance; the term, “farewell,” indicates Satan’s salutation from all things good. However, although Satan welcomes his shame, he concludes with a rejection to all things righteous: “all Good to me is lost;/ Evil be thou my Good;” (Book IV, 109-10). While Satan rationalizes his own justifications and confesses the truth, shame frightens him from repenting or submitting to God. In other words, Satan’s soliloquy is the first time shame forces Satan tell the truth and it is the harsh truth that makes Satan lose “all [the] Good” in him. And so, Satan’s rhetoric in his soliloquy shifts from manipulation and pride to honesty and solidarity because he begins by manipulating the audience and having pride that he wins Hell from God, but later has a moment of realization of his actions which makes him accept his shame. His entire speech is a thought that is entirely bound to shame, that is to say, the whole dialogue is one truth-telling speech throughout many deceptive dialogues in the twelve books of the epic; and so, this particular dialogue is one string of truth in which shame has caused Satan to confess throughout the epic because the majority of Satan’s speeches are deceptive (even to himself). Thus, shame causes Satan to reveal the lies of books I

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