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Analyzing Satan as Hero in Paradise Lost: Heroic Ideals and Narrative Voice
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Literary critics have long discussed which character might be considered the hero of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. This essay investigates Milton’s Satan and the extent to which Satan’s behaviour and speech might be considered heroic. The basis of this investigation is mainly in two parts: The heroic ideals that the author employs, and the narrative voice that is used. For the first part, I use Herman’s dichotomy of the Hellenic contra the Biblical ideal for a hero. The Hellenic hero having martial strength and courage. The Biblical hero having moral strength in obedience to God. For the second part, I expound an argument regarding the existence of a ‘Voice of the Poet’ within Paradise Lost. This ‘voice’, I argue, carry the educational burden of the poem, in reminding us of our status as Fallen in the Biblical story. Further, I agree with Fish’s argument, that Milton intended to educate the reader of the poem as to his/her status as Fallen. My claim, in brief, is that Milton purposefully used the Hellenic ideals for a hero in creating Satan in an overall story that is Biblical in nature. Thus, uncertainty is created in which Satan is allowed to deceive the reader, thereby once more recreating in the mind of the reader the drama of the Fall.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 18
Keywords [en]
Milton, Paradise Lost, Satan, Heroism, Heroic Ideals
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Specific Literatures
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169568OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169568DiVA, id: diva2:1322627
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Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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