Paradise Lost Questions and Answers
by John Milton

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In Paradise Lost, why does God allow Satan to leave hell?

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Milton first offers a partial explanation, saying that hell isn't powerful enough to hold Satan: 

No bounds / prescribed, No bars of hell nor all the chains / Heaped on him there . . . can hold [him] . . .

This, however, is more Satan's perspective than God's, a description of his will to ultimate power, his pride and overestimation of himself, and his complete unwllingness to bow to any other force than himself.

We knows this because Milton then fleshes out this earlier explanation to show that it is God's will, not Satan's, that Satan roam the earth. Milton says it is with God's permission that Satan is set free. God sets Satan free for two...

(The entire section contains 328 words.)

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