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Word Count: 779
For the past three hundred years both the Satanists and the anti-Satanists have given diverse views on the character of Miltons Satan From Dryden to Empson and from Johnson to CSLewis and Stanley Fish we see that both parties have interpreted and stressed the case in their favour But the dispute continues As we read Paradise Lost we realise that in the beginning Milton certainly presents Satan as the heroic powerful prince of Hell but this image is not constant throughout the epic poem We observe that the character of Satan sees a steady downfall from the prince of Hell in Book Ihe slowly and steadily degrade and degenerate into a serpent in Book IX Milton clearly presents this degeneration not only at a physical level but also at the mental level Many critics have state that Milton wrote Paradise Lost to Justify ways of God to man Book I but critics like William Blake believe that Milton was a true poet and of the devils party without knowing it Miltons Satan is not depicted with any bodily deformities and thus he is not the conventional Devil with horns or humps Instead Milton stresses on the mental deformities of Satans mind he himself says Which way I fly is hell myself am hell thus we view Satan as a character enveloped in pride self-interest selfishness and egotism that is all the vices that ultimately lead ones downfall It is Pride that arouses in him the desire to reach higher thought one step higher Would set me highest He was well aware that he could not take Gods place for God is Omnipotent and it was He who had created him Milton thus underlines that Pride is one of the Worst vices that one can possess Milton refrains from depicting Satan as all bad and without any consciousness through Satans powerful soliloquies we see the internal conflict that surrounds Satan Miltons Satan is not devoid of
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