SATAN in PARADISE LOST: Renaissance Hero, Paradoxical feature , Satan-Macbeth or Iago?

 The Renaissance is the rebirth of the human consciousness, the consciousness of being an individual aspiring for the infinite. The Renaissance was a breaking free from the restrained imposed by the feudal-ecclesiastical combine of the Middle Age THAT reduced human-beings to cogs in the social machinery, enforcing a struck hierarchically and  preventing upward mobility for the imaginative JOURNEY

The Renaissance was therefore the rebellion of the free mind which would seek to realize its infinite potentiality and man of  universalism. ‘Nothing less than the infinite can satisfy man’ declared Blake, the romantic imbued with the spirit of the Renaissance. Satan imbued with the same Renaissance ambition would rebel against God and thereby achieve infinite power as Troeltsch has pointed out, ‘the Renaissance spirit would exploit his circumstances, the Govt. as well as the religious machinery in order to ascend, socially, intellectually and spiritually."(The Renaissance and The Reformation) Satan too zeal outs the vulnerability and credulousness of the some of the angels to lead the astray, using all-the resources that he can- his elevated stature, his sonorous voice and his magnificent ability to lead angels into war- to regain, rediscover and for liberty.




Paradise Lost: image wiki
The cavalcade of epic heroes though the ages can possibly not evoke a more contrary figure than Satan who is not only contradictory in himself, but also evokes contradictory feeling. His contradictions lie not only in his career, one which proceeds from seeing luminous angle to an ‘infernal serpent’ (by-iv), but also in his embodying the antipodal qualities. 

Endowed with the ambition of a hero personifying Browne’s dictum, “Man’s reach should caked his grasp/or what’s a heaven for? “Andrea Del Sarto"), as well as with the imagination of an angel, an imagination which can transform the world by the phantasmagoria of the mind, he appears less a villain than a protagonist. Yet, Milton designed him as a villain, and indeed, Satan occasionally manifests a disloyalty, treacherousness, selfishness and a hypocrisy which denigrate his heroic stature. His rhetoric is designed only to elevate them, designed only to work at his behest rather than make them prosper. Even if he sometimes appears to be the embodiment of a Promethean figure rebelling against unjust tyranny, he is soon revealed to be a self-servicing demon, a monster of inequity himself, one who would ask him not a Commonwealth but despotism.
                                                        
The contradictory nature of Satan is such as to occasionally lead him to be interpreted-and miss interpreted-either being akin toward of villainy such as Iago on the one hand, or as a paragon of Virtues such as Hamlet on the ether. He is neither. He is rather a Macbeth; a quasi-tragic figure endowed with all of Macbeth’s admirable qualities his ductless courage, his inflexible power of the will, a rid imagination, a glorious power of expression, an infinite capacity to bear torture-physical or psychological and finally a human capacity for emotions. Yet such mangiest power are all laid a waste like Macbeth’s again, as Lucifer proceeds through his ambition on the path of everlasting damnation. ‘Thou hast a voice whose sound was like the Sea’ Is this judgment borne out by your reading Paradise Lost? The declamatory delivery of Satan’s speeches, evident in a voice which is modulated like the rice and fall of the sea by using not only the sonorous stentorian voice but also by the magnificent array of rhetorical figures, has a profound effect on the legions of fallen a angels. No other epic hero occluding those of Iliad, Odyssey and Divine Comedy are as famous for demagogic power as Satan is.

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