The Images Of God And Satan In Dante's Inferno And Milton's Paradise Lost

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It is easy to fall victim to the idea of how limited, in the sense that we constantly feel restricted by society’s standards. Yet, we are reminded of our existence and expectation that God has for us. Religion – easily summarized as the study of life and faith further solidifies our existence. It focuses on how God brought the world into physical and chemical structures, our function, development, and evolution. It also reminds us of the reasons the human race disconnected from God. Furthermore, this essay is going to concentrate on the similarities and differences between Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise. Dante and Milton are two unique individuals who have several views several on God, Satan, Hell, and Heaven. Both works inspired readers to view religious from a very different perspective. In Milton’s Paradise Lost Satan’s appearance is deceiving. On the other hand, Dante simple depicts Satan as his own obstanch.

The figure of Satan in the Christian convention has constantly spoken to a beast that is just equipped for homicide, debasement, homosexuality, brutishness, and mercilessness. Be that as it may, in Milton's Paradise, the job of Lucifer is portrayed uniquely in contrast to the real evil spirits in the Christian convention. In contrast to Dante, Milton's Satan is unified with remarkable attributes. Satan is at first displayed as an overcomes, and solid legend who was endeavoring to oust God to give him and the other angels freedom. Satan was kicked out of heaven because he raises an army against God. Milton's Satan still has power, wings, and scaly skin. This illustrates that Satan still has the freedom and authority to do whatever he wants. The appearance of Satan is inspiring and magnificent. As a reader, it is very easy to sympathize with Satan. Satan is presented as an innocent character who is being victimized by God. For example, In chapter two of Paradise lost, Mammon stated that “this must be our task in Heaven, this our delight; how wearisome eternity so spend in worship paid to whom we hate” ( Paradise Lost pg.49 line 246). This statement make it seem like God is this authoritarian figure, that is controlling and inconsiderate. God is described as a bossy king who has absolute powers and he is using it to condemn his subjects. Unlike the Catholic tradition, Milton provides space for Satan to appear as something other than what he actually is.

In addition, Milton portrays hellfire as a dim spot with copying flares. Hell is presented as one of the worst places but Satan chooses to stay there and to build his own kingdom. Satan wants to be like God and ruled over people. According to Milton satan states that “ we can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. Here at least we shall be free, here we may reign secure, and in my choice…” Paradise Lost pg 17 line 250 ). This statement introduced Satan as a rebellious being. He is refusing to repent and submit to God authority. Instead, he is planning on how to make hell heaven and successful convicting the angels to make him their king. Following Satan goes as far destroying mankind to get revenge on God. Although Satan is introduced as a hero, and he represents temptation that people need to resist because he is smart and dangerous. Satan might appear like a hero but his behavior is manipulative and conning.

On the other hand, the description of luciferin Inferno by Dante was very different from Paradise Lost by Milton. Dante presents Lucifer as a weak animal that is stuck amidst the universe; hanging tight for the day of Judgment. According to Dante “ figure of Lucifer frozen in the ice at the very center universe, can they hope to make their way out”( The portable Dante pg. xxxiii) The ice signifies that Satan is bound and he lacks the ability to freely move around. Dante guarantees that the beast had spirits of individuals in his mouth, and he has around three heads assault on his body. This demonstrates Satan’s dominion over hell. Dante specifies that Satan was expelled from paradise however Satan was for the most part in damnation since he was a double crosser. Satan sold out and gadget many individuals including Caesar.

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The Hell we find out about in Paradise Lost is not the same as the first damnation that Dante detailed in the inferno. Dante portrays hellfire as a spot that had both murkiness, and light. Hell was separated into various areas, and it was portrayed as a spot that was separated relying upon the transgressions submitted. Dante report hell as a place that represents justice. Each sinner is placed in an area based on their crime and they are dealing with their punishment until they repent and relocate to another place that is more closer to light or God. In hell, the circle determines how righteous and weak the souls are. Dante identifies the souls base on the circles. While Satan is the head of the nine circles, he is helpless and only used his cold wings to constantly freeze the sinners, so that makes it impossible for the sinful soul to move up to a higher level. Dante states that “ I am in the third circle, in the round of rain eternal, cursed, cold, and falling heavy, unchanging beat, unchanging quality” ( The portable Dante pg. 32). The organization of the nine circle consists of limb, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. Satan was placed in the last circle and everyone is trying to repent and at least make it to purgatory but satan is making it difficult for them.

Another important thing that set Dante apart from Milton is the idea of purgatory. Milton did not believe in purgatory or the idea of predestination. However, Dante was not a righteous person and he needed spiritual growth. Purgatory was a place where Dante experience a different level of pain, it allows him the opportunity to spiritual growth and gives him the hope of going to paradise. Furthermore, Dante and Milton also have different spiritual individualities and political views. It is proper to say that Milton had a better relationship with God than Dante. Milton was already in a position that made him spiritually ready. Dante has to go to hell in order to get to paradise. Secondly, Milton was a priest, and he did not support the monarchy. His reason for rejecting the form of government that gives power to one individual is because he believed that no human being deserves to be given the position of God. Milton strongly believed that the only person who deserves to rule with the question is the almighty God, as he is the creator of the universe, therefore, he has the full right to be king and ruler. For example, in paradise lost Milton’s states that “ now had the almighty father from above, from the pure Empyrean where he sits high throned above all height, bent down his eye, his own works, and their works at once to view” ( paradise lose pg.81: line 55). Milton statement proves that God deserves to have all the power because he has the ability to be everywhere. He is eternal and has no limit but he also does not have an effect on what goes on in human being life. God give his creation the freedom to love, hate, do good or the desire to do bad.

Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost have some interest similarities. They both agree that a hell is a place that sinners go to face consequences. They also explained that Satan was kicked out of heaven because he wanted to be like God and have control over the world. Both individual also considers paradise to be heaven. The location of paradise is pointed on top. It is also described as a place of light, peace, wonder, and the presence of God is there. Both individuals presented satan as an agent of evil. This similar are important because it show how believes with different religious background have similar ideas about the afterlife.

Overall, Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost raise up a very good point which is still relevant in today’s society. However, Dante’s Inferno is more relatable because it makes readers to understand that God is a God of justice, he is just not bossy or controlling. Milton’s Paradise Lost lack the ability to make the reader understand right from the start that God just want the right thing for his creation. Although Milton’s Paradise Lost differentiate God and Satan, Heaven and Hell; he confuses his reader by presenting Satan as the hero first. Last but not least , Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost clarify that having a good relationship with God is based on having good characteristics such as: being humble, having good nature, obeying God laws and most importantly not have too much pride.

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The Images Of God And Satan In Dante’s Inferno And Milton’s Paradise Lost. (2021, September 02). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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