Development of Satan’s Character in Milton’s Paradise Lost

The Development of Satan’s Character in Paradise Lost

Some of the significant character traits of Satan are pride, selfishness, and evil. In Paradise Lost, Satan comes out as the primary protagonist or a hero of what the story is all about. In this case, Satan struggles to conquer his weaknesses and doubts (Minas, 2019). Satan also accomplishes his primary motive of corrupting humankind. The Primary goal of Satan is evil, as demonstrated by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Although Paradise Lost has other characters such as Adam, Even, and the Son of God, Satan happens to be the primary protagonist, hero, and character of John Milton’s epic poem.

His Desire for Freedom and Rebelliousness against God and Tyranny

From the onset, Satan is rebellious against the will of God. Although Satan was one of God’s many creations and an angel, he rebelled against him. In Paradise Lost, Satan’s tyrannical character makes humankind suffer immeasurably (Minas, 2019). Every time Satan re-enters the story in Paradise Lost, he fascinates by struggling for freedom against what he views as an unreasonable God, who he also considers a tyrant. Satan’s seeking for freedom and rebelliousness makes the story interesting instead of a boring account of the child actions of Adam and Eve.

His Leadership Qualities

According to John Milton, Satan happens to be a very able character with very strong leadership qualities (Minas, 2019). Therefore, his strong leadership skills ensure he can champion the people he seeks to lead to work well together harmoniously (Minas, 2019). Thus, Satan is a strong leader who demonstrates his leadership qualities by guiding the fallen angels through adversity. According to Milton, Satan has the best leadership qualities, which facilitate him to lead the angels convincingly. Satan motivates others; he is loyal to his angels, courageous enough, and above all, confident in discharging his duties.

His Arrogance

Satan is arrogant, demonstrates pride, and shows a negative attitude toward God. In this case, Satan has a demonstrable character of pride par excellence. In addition, he is too proud to recognize the son of God as the only being who matters in heaven (Minas, 2019). Satan is full of himself and does not consider that he can be under the son of God, which is why he considers God a leader of a chain of tyranny. According to Satan, the presence of the son of God is only out to hamper his leadership for humankind.

What Makes Him a Renaissance Figure?

In Paradise Lost, Satan happens to be a Renaissance figure in the poem. Therefore, he is part of a rebirth of interest and revives the need for a man in the world. In addition, it offered him new eyes to focus on liberty, learning, life, love, and beauty. In demonstrating the renaissance, Satan also shows the strength of mind and determination to control humankind (Minas, 2019). In addition, Satan demonstrates worldliness, which is the world’s primary attraction. Therefore, Satan is more inclined toward world things such as wealth, power, love, revenge, and beauty, among others. Satan also demonstrates individualism, which means he views himself as more important than anyone else.

A Characteristic of His Mind and Its Passion over Lordship

In Paradise Lost, Satan is a known renaissance figure considered a hero. In addition, Satan happens to be the charming character and the most relevant in the epic poem (Minas, 2019). In this case, Milton is a poet who heaps a lot of praise and offers heroic qualities for Satan. Milton also dramatically describes Satan, a situation that makes him a Renaissance hero.

How His Appearance Changes Through the Epic Poem

Various shapes Satan assumes generate a lot of controversies and dramatize his gradual degradation of humankind. In the epic poem, Satan happens to be a just-fallen hero or angel of immense stature. In addition, Satan has perfected the art of disguising himself in many things, such as a snake, a toad, and a humble being. The character of Satan and the perception of humans towards him is one of the most relevant highlights of the epic poem.


Minas, S. A. (2019). “The heat of milton’s mind”: Allusion as a mode of thinking in paradise lost. Milton Studies, 61(2), 186–211. Web.

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