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Paradise Regained & Character of Satan

In terms of the characterization of Satan specifically, Paradise Regained offers a logical development from Paradise Lost. The character of Satan is different, but it is a difference that can be explained by the time that has passed and by changing circumstances as he must deal with the issues of battle over the souls of human beings rather than with the vast war in Heaven pictured in the earlier epic. Satan thus develops as a character through the two epics and between them, and an analysis of the Satan of the two works show how this has been effected, how it is portrayed, and what effects it has on the narrative.

The Satan of Paradise Lost is a military leader, a commander of a legion of doomed angels rebelling after having been cast out of Heaven. Satan is a very real character in Paradise Lost, as he is in Paradise Regained, though he works out his inner turmoil in different ways in the two poems. In the first, he is much more direct, challenging the authority of God and leading his army into battle. In the second, he has taken the role of subtle seducer who seeks out the weaknesses in human beings and exploits them. In part, the difference is a difference in the immediate adversary, or rather in the means to attack the same adversary. When leading his legions into battle, Satan is fighting an enemy directly. When seducing human beings, he is making use of God's creations to challenge His authority and undermine His influence. Of course, even Satan the warrior, while that may be the image that is remembered from Paradise Lost, is not the Satan seen in the last books of that earlier epic, and the Satan of the last books of Paradise Lost is a good preparation for the Satan of Paradise Regained.

The Satan of the first book is a character of great power and one with many admirable qualities, not the least of which is his determination not to give in to his enemies. Waldock (1966) notes the way Satan is characterized in t...

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Paradise Regained & Character of Satan. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:48, April 26, 2019, from