Satan - A Comparison Of 2 Literature Works

John Milton’s Satan

In the book ‘Paradise Lost’ (1667), by John Milton, Satan is described as a charismatic leader of the darkest side of life and paradise. As one reads through the poems, Satan is portrayed as having powers of the underground with a discipleship of the dark world that even his charismatic, dominant and powerful affection is overwritten by his evilness.

However, with the powers of the dark world, Satan seems to come out as a heroic figure who eventually looses this charisma and retains his evil part of the outcasts.

Throughout the poems Milton tries to compare the character of Satan and that of human nature. Just like mankind, he is arrogant, selfish and dictatorial, wanting all for himself. He is a very ambitious and dedicated to his fight for power, status and reputation. He fights to be in control and reputation that people will stand up to and see him as a person; that through him they can find satisfaction to all needs.

Milton refers Satan’s nature to his collision with God; however all is not lost for Satan because even after being alienated by God, the angels have continued to see him as their emancipator and perhaps their one way to the free world. Throughout Milton’s shows us the struggle of Satan as he repeatedly tries to retain his position as a powerful person for the sake of his followers. So that he can still make them see god as a selfish person who has not felt for other people but himself.

But in this we can see Satan as someone who has a lot of pain and regret over his actions and is always fighting to get back his position as a leader of other angels and the man next to god.

Dante’s Satan

Dante’s description of Satan is the direct opposite to Milton. He views Satan as a helpless beast frozen mid breast in ice at the centre of hell. In his description, Satan has three heads and two giant wings that he uses to flap ice to sinners around him in the ninth circle.

Dante sees Satan as a sad creature alienated from God. Hell is the punishment granted on him by God for being deceptive and abuser of freedom that was given to Him by God. And because of this pain, he has become a complete opposite of God. Here he has no command, nor does he have the charisma that is associated to him by Milton. He is succumbed by futility, darkness and non being the point very far away from Godliness.