Professor Jennifer J. Howard
English Literature and Composition
30 January 2015
In Paradise Lost Milton portrays Lucifer as a beautiful creature who is not necessarily a villain. He portrays him as powerful, invoking, and charismatic. This idea of him as a neutral, in the sense of not directly good or not directly bad has spread out into popular culture and literature in the new generations.
Some appearances of Lucifer in this light in popular culture and literature are the Devil in Constantine, whom is dressed in all white and I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan which portrays the charismatic and human side of Lucifer. Satan’s beauty is shown in the following quote.
“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since He
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: (242- 247)
Here Satan, not only exclaims his former beauty, which in any case existed in at least some point in time, but also speaks beautifully.
If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd
From him, who in the happy Realms of Light
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst out-shine
Myriads though bright
Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind
And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit,
That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend, (84 -87, 97- 99)
He speaks in verse like all else in the story and yet his soulful and intricate language serves as a decorated cry to justice and his misery. The beauty that Satan portrays is unparalleled in former pieces of literature.
Satan’s invoking side is shown in his exclamations to his followers wherein he describes the need for them to not wallow in their piteous state, but start to fight again alongside him.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall’n (330)
Satan’s obvious tact for speaking shows that he is an admirable character and this bulges into modern day depictions.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. Public Domain Publishings.