Satan’s first Speech: “Paradise Lost”, Analysis

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Satan’s first speech in Paradise Lost is a reflection of pure Miltonic Lyricism. The first speech showed the leadership quality and apostasy of Satan. Satan encourages and motivates his followers, (Fallen Angels), to stand against God. In the opening line of the speech, he shows wonders about the changes found in Beelzebub.

He feels ashamed to accept the power of God; reminds Beelzebub of the glory in heaven and compares it to present sorrows. He believed that God insulted his esteem and promised to not change his nasty mind against God. 

As for the battle, it has been an equal match and the issue is uncertain. It is not their want of merit but God's new and secret weapon that won the war. Throughout the speech, Satan uses rhetorical figures like Irony that make it impressive. His historical "high disdain" and "sense of injured merit" have overtones of the ludicrous. It seems weak and childish. 

Satan's first speech revolves around;

Being Immortal

Eternal War against God

Ego and Pride

Satan keeps encouraging his followers by saying that just one match doesn’t decide who the winner is. So Satan defies the power of God and did not accept the victory of God. We lost just one match does not mean that we lost everything.

What though the field be lost?

All is not lost, the unconquerable will,

And the study of revenge, immortal hate,

And courage never to submit or yield,

And what is else not to be overcome?

Satan shows excessive pride and ego. These lines contain a ray of hope and Satan seemed to be more optimistic. He denied accepting his loss. He states that bowing down before God is more shameful than defeat. The last part of the speech shows his inability to do anything except regret his excruciating life. Throughout the speech, there are no commandments or actions to follow except hate and revenge against God. 

Read also, Satan's Second Speech Summary


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