Paradise Lost a Bad Leader (Thank God) (Or “How **** Operates”)

Eidos | 10/22/2019 | Staff
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Sometimes a work is so beautiful that you forget what is being said by the author for the sheer sound, the feeling of the words sliding through the mind, and collecting together building something magnificent: a monument of sound, words made music or mayhap music frozen in prose.

John Milton does this to words.

Lines - Sections - Paradise - Lost - Cathedrals

There are lines, whole sections, in Paradise Lost that are cathedrals in words. They are not cathedrals of a church I would wish to attend, the theology is often twisted, but when John Milton is right truth is linked to sublime and beautiful English. Milton proves that English can rise to Homeric standards for an epic and his theology is, after all, much better than Homers!

Sometimes I have thought Dante’s image of Satan, frozen by his self-pity, endlessly chewing on traitors was more true to the nature of evil. Milton’s Satan gets a lot of good lines, acts a good bit like a Byronic hero, but then I consider how dreadful a Byronic hero is when you know one and see John Milton’s wisdom. The poet is pointing out that the wordy romantic is often simply selfish.

Lord - Jesus - Christ - Son - God

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

A Satanic Leader

Image - Leader - Milton - Satan - Book

No better image of a deluded, narcissistic leader has ever been written than Milton’s Satan in Book II of Paradise Lost. who enthrones himself in ****, setting up a false debate about policy where he has manipulated the outcome. Nothing shows humility in a leader who has just led his forces to damnation opposed to justice and the rightful ruler, then sitting on a thrown based on “just right” and “free choice” of those angels he has made demons. Here is Satan’s cabinet meeting:

Milton’s Satan has the trappings of a monarch, but he is one of literatures first...
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