Contrasting Portrayals "The Devil" Essay

Submitted By rashad024
Words: 1040
Pages: 5

Contrasting Portrayals – “The Devil” Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Son of the Morning, Evil, and Sin, these are just a few of the titles The Devil has been bestowed with, however one central theme remains associated with the vast multitude of alias’ he bares; the corruption of mankind. The roots of the monster “the devil” date as far back to as human records will show, IE. The Bible, and honestly have not morphed much over the centuries. The stories and portrayals that people conceive of the devil today and people conceived back in history about religion, sin, and the fall and descent of humankind are relatively the same. God is the savior, the king, and the almighty power. He is an unseen leader whose power we worship, one who is of an understanding nature and blessed character. What we have been taught about Satan and his followers has never gone far from what the Bible has always told us. Satan is a dark character, a selfish, jealous, and powerless creature that tries to bring people to his hell and make them as miserable as he is himself. In both John Milton’s Poem, Paradise Lost (1667), and William Golding’s extremely thematic novel, Lord Of The Flies (1954), the authors portrayed the devil not so much as a physical being, but more so of a negative entity entitled evil, corruption, and sin, personified in a multitude of different objects, people, and things; whose ultimate goal ever since the origin of such animosity is to taint humankind. It would appear however that Milton not only showed this one facetted connotation of the devil, but also tried to disprove this assumption, by portraying Satan as a powerful, heroic and magnificent being. Nonetheless overtime the portrayal of the devil, shown by Golding, has been depicted to represent nothing but human corruption and sin. In Milton's classic epic poem Paradise Lost the reader gains a judicious and even controversial vision of Satan as the protagonist of the epic. This is in direct contrast with our current idea and opinion of Satan as the leading nominal of evil and darkness. Lord Of The Flies in contrast does not go pass Satan’s wickedness to even express any deeper meaning of The Devil. Milton’s word choices and his extensive character development make Satan's character an object of curiosity. The reader is influenced to be attracted to Satan’s appeal, if not his control. Satan's character is strong-minded, intellectual, and at times, philosophical. Milton does not portray the fault of Satan's fall on lack of intelligence, or weakness of character- it is more a simple acceptance of evil. Satan says, "So farewell Hope And with Hope farewell Fear Farewell Remorse: all Good to me is lost Evil be thou my Good," (Milton, IV. 109-111). Milton summarizes Satan's acceptance of evil best, saying that the profoundest Hell will receive a new leader, one who possesses a mind that cannot be changed. Satan’s “heroic” ambition and courage is shown throughout the story and are accepted as his characteristics. Milton made each character with their own distinctive and descriptive personalities. The beginning of book one is where you first see Milton begin to identify exactly what traits will belong to each character.
“The mother of mankind, what time his pride had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host of rebel angels, by whose aid aspiring to set himself in glory above his peers, He trusted to have equaled the Most High, If he opposed; and with ambitious aim against the throne and monarchy of God, raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud with vain attempt. (Milton, I. 36-49).”
Satan did not like the way things were being run and he wanted to challenge authority, so he decided to make a change. These are all examples of human faults, of feelings and attempts that are made by humans. Could it be that Milton wants us to relate to Satan so he gives him human thoughts and…