Maximilian Rudwin (essay date 1931)
SOURCE: “The Salvation of Satan in Modern Poetry,” in The Devil in Legend and Literature, AMS Press, 1970, pp. 280-308.
[In the following essay, originally published in 1931, Rudwin considers the sympathetic portrayal of Satan in nineteenth-century poetry.]
The reversal of poetic judgment with regard to the Devil is among the most striking characteristics of the modern period. The popular medieval conception degraded Diabolus from the former high potentate of paradise to a powerless and ludicrous personage, who served our ancestors as the butt of such laughter as still rings across the ages. The modern period, on the other hand, has clothed the Devil with the...
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