Epic Hero In John Milton's Paradise Lost

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What defines a Superhero? (A psychological analysis of Satan as the presented Epic Hero in Milton’s Paradise Lost) With the Marvel movie Black Panther’s release this weekend in theaters, thoughts of superheroes are on everyone’s minds. What classifies a person as a superhero, or merely a hero? Often times, the media and Hollywood portray superheroes as people with special abilities that help them conquer evil. These superheroes are glorified and well-known among most of the world. Their popularity shows that people need hope and want someone or something to count on for deliverance from evil. Several of the popular superheroes are derived from classical epic heroes like Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, Beowulf, and Jesus Christ. When John Milton…show more content…
One definition of an epic hero is that the protagonist must go on a journey where he learns something about himself and the world. Satan volunteers to go on this journey to Eden. As soon as he volunteers, the other demons worship him and praise him for his courage. Milton describes this scene by writing, “At once was as the sound of Thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend with awful reverence prone,”(2, 476-478). He is courageous to go on this dangerous journey away from the safety of Pandemonium, because he risks getting caught by God and the angels. Satan leaves the comforts of Pandemonium and goes on a journey through the universe to find Eden. Once he deceives Uriel, he is in Eden. In Eden, he finds mankind in the garden. He turns into a toad and begins his meddling and tempts Eve in her dream. This journey Satan takes is described as dangerous. Although Satan goes on a journey to destroy mankind, he is represented as a hero by Milton because he is challenging authority. Much like satan, Milton himself is trying to change the ways of the world in the midst of the Renaissance, and he is going against authority in order to change the way of thinking. In many ways, Satan represents Milton himself. John Shawcross states, “Milton [is] doomed to Hell for his political actions and works, betraying himself in his epic by making Satan the one to be emulated in his…show more content…
“Why Satan 's Character in Paradise Lost Is the Original Antihero.” America Magazine, 24 Oct. 2017,www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/10/19/ why-satans-character-paradise-lost-original-antihero. Shawcross, John T. “An Early View of Satan as Hero of Paradise Lost.” Milton Quarterly, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1 Oct. 1998, muse.jhu.edu/article/23618. Smith, Jennifer. Paradise Lost and Beowulf: The Christian/Pagan Hybrids of the Epic Tradition, web.csulb.edu/~jsmith10/miltbeow.htm. Ward, Dee Ann Duke. “Satan 's Temptation of Eve in ‘Paradise Lost’: A Rhetorical Analysis.” ERIC - Education Resources Information Center, 31 Mar. 1991, eric.ed.gov/?id=ED339068. Zukerman, Cordelia. “Paradise Lost: Introduction.” The John Milton Reading Room, Dartmouth,
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