Satan lands atop Mount Niphates, just north of Paradise, the Garden of Eden. He becomes gripped with doubt about the task in front of him; seeing the beauty and innocence of Earth has reminded him of what he once was. He even briefly considers whether he could be forgiven if he repented. But Hell follows him wherever he goes—Satan is actually the embodiment of Hell. If he asks the Father for forgiveness, he knows it would be a false confession; he reasons that if he returned to Heaven, he still could not bear to bow down. Knowing redemption or salvation cannot be granted to him, he resolves to continue to commit acts of sin and evil.
Again, the reader finds themselves empathizing with Satan and the course he is on. It’s not that you agree with him and Milton certainly does not present it as such, however you can see where he’s coming from. I believe Milton spent so much time honing the character of Satan that he forgot to make the good guys more likable as well. He makes Satan someone to pity and have sympathy for. While Adam is presented as a groveling and weak man who follows along mindlessly. Eve is seen as little more than Adam’s play toy. And God is seen as egotistical at best and cruel at his worst. I am not sure what Milton’s intentions were but I am not seeing this as a poem written by a pious man. Unless something shifts somewhere along the way.
Challenge Chapter: Book 5