Paradise Lost Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does Satan think they can defeat God?

Satan reminds Beelzebub of how they were once the brightest angels in Heaven, and now they are equal in misery. Although God has has won this time, he thinks that they can successfully use guile, rather than outright war, to finally defeat him.

2. Why does Satan think it is best to stay in Hell?

Satan compares Heaven and Hell, but decides that he will rule in Hell, saying "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n." In Hell, he and Beelzebub will be free to do as they wish.

3. What is Satan's role in Paradise Lost?

Milton describes Paradise Lost as the story of the fall of man. However, it is also the story of the fall of Satan. Satan is the first character introduced by Milton, and the most carefully developed. His story fleshes out the thematic elements of the story, sometimes both as a parallel example and a contrasting example. However, Satan is not a heroic figure, but an antihero whose charm is based on deception.

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