Paradise Lost

John Milton divided the characters in his epic poem Paradise Lost into two
sides, one side under God representing good, and the other side under Satan
representing evil and sin. Milton first introduced the reader to the character

Satan, the representative of all evil, and his allegiance of fallen angels that
aided in his revolt against God (Milton 35). Only later did Milton introduce the
reader to all powerful God, leader and creator of all mankind (John). This
introduction of Satan first led the reader to believe acts of sin were good,
just like Eve felt in the Garden of Eden when she was enticed by Satan to eat
the fruit off of the Tree of Knowledge (Milton 255). The later introduction of

The Almighty had the readers change their feelings towards sin, as the ways of

God were introduced to them and these ways were shown to be the way to feel and
believe. This levy of good vs. evil carried on throughout the poem with the
interaction of Satan and his fallen angels with God and his son in Heaven. The
common representation of sin and evil came from the lead character in the battle
against God, Satan. His name means "enemy of God." He was a former
high angel from Heaven named Lucifer, meaning, "light bearer" (John).

Satan became jealous in Heaven of God's son and formed an allegiance of angels
to battle against God, only for God to cast them out of Heaven into Hell (Milton

35). This did not bother Satan at first since he became the leader in Hell
rather than a servant in Heaven. Satan believed that it was, "Better to
reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" ( I-l. 263). Much of Satan's reliance
on getting things accomplished came from his ability to lie and deceive. He lied
to the fallen angels about the Son and his "vice-regency" in Heaven in
order for them to follow him instead of The Son. He also concealed his true self
by hiding in the body of a serpent when presenting himself to Eve in the Garden
of Eden (Blessington 32). She would not have been as easily tempted into sin had
he not concealed his true form. In addition, Satan showed the reader a large
amount of anger and destructiveness when he planned his revenge on God (Milton

62). Satan even found pleasure in the pain and destruction of other people and
things, "To do aught good never will be our task, / But ever to do ill our
soul delight" (qtd. in Blessington 32). It is clear the feelings and views
of Satan represented evil. With Satan and his battle against God, he formed an
allegiance of fallen angels to help him carry out his evil goals. Satan placed
his chief supporter named Beelzebub in charge of the fallen angels, and getting
them together to form the Demonic Council to serve as an administration for Hell
(John). Milton described Beelzebub as being a " Majestic, wise
statesman" (qtd. in Bush 265) in his leadership abilities of this council.

Although Satan put Beelzebub in charge, it was not because of Beelzebub's
abilities, but due to the fact Satan was able to trick his chief supporter
easily into expressing his beliefs instead of Beelzebub's own. With Satan's
ability to deceive Beelzebub easily, he will easily mislead the Demonic Council
into carrying out his evil ideas against God in Heaven. The council held a
meeting in the capital of Hell called Pandemonium, where the reader is
introduced to all of the fallen angels, and learned their evil ideas of revenge
against God and Heaven. The first fallen angel that spoke at the meeting was

Moloch, who was the "strongest and fiercest spirit that fought in Heaven,
now fiercer by despair" (Milton, II-l. 44-45). He came forth with a
"suicidal battle philosophy" (Blessington 39), promoting open war in

Heaven. He was very aggressive in nature, and did not care if God destroyed the
fallen angels in the battle, as long as they fought in revenge (Bush 258). The
second fallen angel that spoke at the meeting was the false and hollow angel
named Belial. He represented true passivity towards fighting (Blessington 40).

He conceded to God's power, realizing they would easily be defeated (John). Up
next came the "least erected spirit that fell from Heaven" (Milton

I-l. 679) named Mammon, who was characterized by greed and tangible wealth. When

Mammon was in Heaven, he desired the golden floors he walked on better than
desiring the wealth and virtue available from God who ruled over them (John).