Satan's speech in Book 1 of Paradise Lost is a revisionist speech describing an alternative view of the bad angel's fall. How is this so?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is very interesting to analyse Satan's speech in Book I of this epic classic, especially considering the depth of the defeat that he has just been experienced before being cast out of heaven and into the fiery netherworld that is to be his kindgom. What is fascinating is the way that Satan insists on refusing to admit that he has been beaten. What shines through above all is his defiance against God:

What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield:
And what is else not to be overcome?
That Glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me.

Because Satan's hatred and "unconquerable Will" is still very much part of his character and integral to who he is as an individual, he therefore believes that God did not achieve a "victory," as after all, he has not managed to make Satan bow the knee before him, and never will, in Satan's opinion. Satan therefore manages to successfully "spin" his defeat in a way that would raise the envy of even the most experienced contemporary politican, casting himself as a true victor because of the way that his banishment actually represents a failure on God's part.

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Paradise Lost

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