"Justify[ing] the ways of God to man" : John Milton's Use of Satan to Promote a Christian Message in Paradise Lost Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b27740189

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  • This paper focuses on Satan as a sympathetic figure in Paradise Lost, and it argues that readers' sympathy for Satan drives them to pursue God's grace in order to avoid falling into the same fate as Satan. It uses Reader Response theory to show how readers connect with Satan, and it discusses how readers will juxtapose Satan's despair and how he deals with it to how Adam and Eve handle their despair. Furthermore, it discusses how Milton uses Ovidian references to characterize Satan's fall as tragic and to depict the agony one experiences as a result of the fall and one's separation from God. Through these characterizations, readers will be moved to seek God's grace so that they too do not have to experience the agony of being permanently separated from God.
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