Milton's Satan: the unexpected theologian in Milton's Paradise
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
For centuries, the issue of Milton's Satan as a hero has been widely debated by literary critics, with the Romantic notion dominating throughout the 17th century. This paper seeks to explore how even in his fallen state, Satan is neither a hero nor a villain, but an instrument of God who unknowingly, is still doing God’s work as the very existence of the devil propagates the notion of God’s pre-eminent characteristic - Free will. In doing so, the Romantic perception of Satan as a hero must be expelled, as Satan is not the protagonist of Milton’s Paradise, but a central character in which Milton uses to elucidate the moral of the poem. As such, it is necessary for the reader to read Paradise Regained not as a sequel to Paradise Lost, but as a singular entity or as the fourth “smaller epic poem” within Paradise Lost in order to fully understand the true nature of the devil as the unexpected theologian and his role in relation to Christ, who is for the most part, an extension of Milton’s God, albeit a singular and independent entity in his own right.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University