Paradise Lost "Rather Than Be Less, Cared Not To Be At All"

John Milton

"Rather Than Be Less, Cared Not To Be At All"

Context: Upon building their capital, Pandemonium, in Hell, the leaders of the rebel angels hold a solemn council. Satan, the leader of all, opens the debate, saying that war must continue against God. The only question for debate in the council is to be whether the recently defeated rebels should continue open warfare against God's hosts or whether they should try to regain Heaven by guile. Moloch, one of Satan's lieutenants, who is described as a sceptered king among the warrior spirits, rises first to speak in the great discussion. He is "the strongest and the fiercest spirit/ That fought in Heaven." He has no fear "of God, or Hell, or worse." Milton says of Moloch:

His trust was with the Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Cared not to be at all.