As a reader of Milton's Paradise Lost Book-1, its usual that one will mistake Satan as the epic Hero, because of his strong speeches. The impression that one gets after examining Santan's speeches is that of nobility and greatness. But if we carefully examine Satan's speeches we will find that he is the personification of evil.
Beelzebub is the First person to whom Satan addresses " and till then who knew the force of those dire arms?" Satan tells that God eventuallyproved stronger because of his power of Thunder. He then tells that he is not repentant of his rebellion against God, and his mind is "fixed". "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"- This speech gives Satan a true heroic stature, he says that they didnt lost everything, they still have there unconquerable will power, and the courage never to submit or surrender.
Satan second speech is again made to Beelzebub, he says "to be weak is miserable, doing or suffering", this speech undoubtedly have heroic texture in it, but immediately after this speech Satan evil nature comes out, when he says "to do ought good never will be our task, but ever to do ill our sole delight". If God seeks "to bring forth good" out of good they will still find means of evil. With such statement only a handful of readers and critics can symphathise with Satan.
Satan's third and the most important speech is also made to Beelzebub, his only listener. The third speech of Satan is very popular and impressive, it acts on the conscience of the reader. In this speech Satan shows his love of freedom and hatred of slavery. He refers himself as a "new possessor" of hell and claims to be "One who brings a mind not to be changed by place or time", he further talks about the power of mind "the mind is in its own place, and in itself can make a heven of hell, a hell of heaven". His love for freedom is depicted in his speech where he says. "Here atleast we shall be free" "To reign is worth ambition though in hell, it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven". Such remarks undoubtedly will inspire and impress any reader.
Satan fourth and fifth speech is addressed to the fallen angels. These speeches undoubtedly shows Satan's leadership quality and power of his words. Satan refers fallen angels as "princes, potentates, and warriors". Satan with his words made the fallen angels ashamed for there immobilty. He further flatters fallen angels by refering them as "power matchless, but with the Almighty"
Blake said that, in writing Paradise Lost, Milton was of the devil's party without knowing it. Undoubtedly the portrayel of Satan through his speeches are grand and worthy of highest admiration, but also we cannot skip the hollowness os Satan's evil character, presented by his own speeches and comments on chanracter of Satan by Milton himself.