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From Paradise Lost, Book IV, lines 92-113

Page history last edited by Holly Andris 8 years, 6 months ago
  1. In lines 92-113 Satan has a moment of “weakness” as he is confronted with doubt for the path in front of him. He sees the grand beauty of Paradise and this image reminds him of what he once had as an angel before his fall. Satan for a moment considers if he could reverse this path he has started and regain God’s good grace. In this passage Satan is having a moment of introspection followed with inner turmoil. Satan asks himself what if he could repent? Would that turn his fate around? However as the passage continues, Satan states that repentance could never be an option. Satan will never be able to return as an angel because he will only fall twice as far. At the end he farewells his short inner turmoil and grants himself to evil.  
  2. This passage is important for the larger work because embodies an epic simile for the entirety of Paradise Lost. Satan has created sin that has made him fall. This sin Satan is suffering from is despair and this despair cannot be redeemable. Therefore this is the point, where as readers, we learn Satan is meant for evil and cannot return to the grace of God. Some individual’s are meant to fall (paralleling Adam and Eve).
  3. Milton had Satan “talk” to himself in the passage. Throughout the first three Books Milton displays Satan as a creature of evil and passionate strength for war. Whereas, in Book 4 Satan acknowledges his inner thoughts and introspects upon the path he has chosen. This allows the reader to “feel” for Satan as a figure who does have human like qualities (or both good and evil). Likewise, in this passage Milton uses words that invoke negative feelings such as pain (97), deadly hate (99), relapse (100), punisher (103) or outcast (106). Milton’s diction supports the passages dark nature and Satan’s eventual complete commitment to devious acts. 
  4. Does Satan’s acknowledgement of a second fall if he were to repent and gain good favor from God make his devious path the only possible option for him? 

         Does Satan’s possibility of introspection allow for him to ever possibly become “good” again?


1. In lines 92-113, if Satan could repent, if may relieve him of his pain but he may relapse and ultimately have a "heavier fall". God is omniscient and it is almost as if he is saving Satan from his self and utter destruction. Satan says in line 98, " For never can true reconcilement grow" so he says farewell to hope and fear because he believes that all good is lost. He finally realizes that he is trapped in his own sense of reason and comes to terms with the idea that he must only be himself. Misrepresenting himself will only lead to ones downfall because only God can tell who you really are.


2. Taking a closer look at this passage, it relates to the larger work because it brings the reader back to the idea that it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. It wouldn't matter if Satan went back up to heaven because he would have to submit to and serve God, in hell he could be a leader and follow his own rule. Since Satan cannot reach redemption, he might as well continue to be evil.


3. This passage is mostly written in iambic pentameter which allows for inflection and emphasis on important words Satan wants to the reader to pay attention to. When there is a difference in the pattern, it also draws the attention of the reader to help the reader convey meaning. Again the line that caught my attention was line 98 when Satan says "for never can true reconcilement grow." It has an extra syllable at the end of the of the sentence which this is the most essential line to the whole passage and ultimately coveys the whole meaning. 


4. What does Satan feel about his own free will?

    Since this passage is coming from Satan, can it be trustworthy?


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