English 1022E Lecture Notes - In Medias Res, Fallen Angel, Tyrant
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English Lecture “Paradise Lost” January 20, 2011
Force + Fraud
4. Homeric Similes
5. In medias res
“No man can serve two masters: You cannot serve God and Mammon”
radix malorum cupiditas est: the love of money/ wealth is the root of all evil
-- - - - - - - - - - -
-Satan is enormously complexly evil
-He is completely alienated from God. He’s made a series of choices that have taken him further
down until he’s now at the limit of alienation.
-He does not change throughout the poem. He may seem to, but he is always inside the
same thoroughly evil figure.
-He is also enormously appealing.
-He needs to make Satan a credible leader of of the angels that are rebelling against⅓
God. Without him being so persuasive and attractive he wouldn’t be believable.
-First big speech he has at l.84 of Book 1:
-There is disordered quality in the syntax of his speech, ungrammatical.
-l.94 we learn 5 things about Satan:
-he is completely unrepentant. He will never change.
-Shapeshifter. Toad, snake, etc.
-He always is in the same mood, the same mindset. He wants to destroy Adam
-l.98: hurt pride, damaged ego. He takes his grudge forward and uses it for his
motivation for destroying Adam and Eve.
-l.114: we can see that he’s self deluded. He says that the war in heaven was a dubious
battle, outcome never determined, God sometimes doubted his empire. This is false,
God is omnipotent. God is still in control; there was no doubt about the outcome of the
war in heaven.
-l.116: Satan believes in fate and the strength of Gods. He doesn’t believe in one God.
-l.118: He is resolved in his pride, his irrationality, his deludedness, his mistaken belief
that he can find God by destroying God. He says there is hope in Hell but there isn’t, he
has no hope.
-Calls God a tyrant. Satan is the tyrant though, what he doesn’t understand is that he’s
the one who’s enslaved to a kind of tyrant; himself. To serve God is to be free, to serve
one self is to be enslaved.
-Satan can seem enormously attractive. So the narrator steps in to tell us how we should be
-Whatever Satan says, he is in pain. All this talk of hope should be set aside, what he is
really feeling inside is despair.
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