[Milton-L] Satan

Julia Griffin juliabgriffin at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 15 19:11:34 EST 2005

I'm surprised Professor Duran thinks there's a "hesitancy" about not finding 
Satan attractive: almost half the postings to this list seem to be some form 
of declaration to that effect, Fishite or not.  Just to open up the 
opposition, let me say that I cannot imagine not finding Satan attractive.  
I would have to have my heart removed.  The dynamism that can get the whole 
poem moving into the present tense, the courage to oppose the undefeatable - 
that's what stirs the blood.  Adam is a dear, certainly, up to the end of 
Book IX, and could be relied upon to take out the garbage, etc.; but his 
most attractive moment, I think, is his determination to eat with Eve: the 
moment when he, like Satan earlier and Eve later, tries to be a messiah.
This is an emotional response, but basic morality, the instinct that 
religion can't drive out, seems to me to support that emotion.  What should 
you do with unquestionable, un-self-questioning omnipotence - the power that 
can damn a third of its creation and never feel the slightest responsibility 
for it?  If such a power exists, and you have the courage, fight back.  
Better that than endless choir-practice in a jeweller's shop, as Orwell so 
well put it.
Ah well.  Let it come down.

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