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Deception Of Satan Paradise Lost

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The Deception of Satan

Satan was a powerful angel who, after being thrown into hell, used his powers to deceive God's newly created beings, Adam and Eve. These characters are perceived as innocent and vulnerable creatures, who could be easily influenced. What better way to get revenge on God than to tempt His most prized possessions? Satan uses his power of deceiving rhetoric to mislead his followers. He then deceives Eve with the same kind of rhetoric. Satan's tone changes between the speech to the council and the speech to Eve. We are introduced to Satan as a heroic figure. As the poem goes on his character loses his greatness and falls to that of a creature.

Satan lusts after of God's powers and wants to possess them himself. "But I should ill become this throne, O Peers, An this imperial sov'reignty, adorned with splendor, armed with power, if aught proposed, and judged of public moment"(II. 445). He admires God's excellence and is willing to stop at nothing to obtain this level of greatness.

In addition of Satan being so great and heroic, Milton gives the readers a sense that Satan is constantly suffering. Satan explains that the more pleasures he sees, the more torment he feels. He doesn't want to live on earth or in heaven, though he wants to make others experience the same pain that ails him. He explains, "only in destroying I find ease to my restless thoughts," (IX.129) stressing that with his intensity of ambition he'll stop at nothing for revenge. Milton shows the greatness of Satan but at the same time his anguish.

When Satan first addresses the council he is met with a variety of options in his pursuit of the throne. With a boastful tone, he volunteers himself for this task to deceive Adam and Eve. This would be our first encounter with his deception. He makes his followers believe that he is electing himself gratefully to do this task, but the whole time it is what he intended. He claims he would not deserve to be their leader if he were to shrink from the task

As Satan makes his way onto earth he becomes to be in awe of Eve, he repeatedly throws compliments to her calling her a "celestial beauty"(IX. 540) and a "goddess among gods" (IX. 547). I believe he was doing this to soften her up before he made his move. He continues to deceive her by telling her if she eats this fruit she will gain wisdom and be seated with the Gods. How could Eve refuse? The fruit was so enticing, she could be as wise as her Maker himself and all she had to do was eat from this tree. "Mother of science, now I feel thy power Within me clear, not only to discern Things in their causes, but to trace the ways Of highest agents, deemed however wise. Queen of this universe do not believe Those rigid threats of death; ye shall not die: How should ye? By the fruit? It gives you life to knowledge."(IX-680-688) He plays with Eve's mind, filling it up with fantasies that he knows would never hold true. Although she is aware that this is the only tree that is forbidden, she succumbs to Satan's deception. She proceeds to eat this fruit, thus paving the way of sin.

Satan chooses Eve instead of Adam because of her weaknesses. He chooses the perfect time of day to carry out his plan. He would meet her at noon, a perfect time for lunch. He uses the time of day as a tool for his deception. Eve willingly



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