Why does Beelzebub worry that his eternal life may be of no use to him in Milton's Paradise Lost?

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choucksolace eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beezlebub is one of angels who joins forces with Satan in his rebellion against God and is subsequently cast into Hell. When the fallen angels convene to discuss their next plan of action, some of them suggest launching a second attack on Heaven. However, Beezlebub points out that they remain "in strictest bondage, though thus far removed" (321), meaning that although they now have eternal life in Hell, they are still inferior to God and they exist only because God allows it. Thus, they can never be victorious against Heaven. Beezlebub then presents an alternative: striking at God through His latest creation, humanity. Because humans are more vulnerable and easier to lead astray, they might be convinced to join forces with the devil against God. Beelzebub is actually suggesting a plan that Satan had all long; his support gives the illusion that the decision has been made democratically.