[Milton-L] Tolkien's "When Satan Meets Death"

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Fri Jun 7 00:31:59 EDT 2013

The meeting between Melkor ( = Satan) and the frightening Ungoliant in
JRR Tolkien's "The Silmarillion," chapter 8, closely recalls the
encounter between Satan and Death in PL, both in the contents of both
episodes and in the very wording:

"The Eldar ( = Elves) knew not whence she [Ungoliant] came; but some
said that in ages long before she descended from the darkness that
lies about Arda ( = Earth), when Melkor first looked down in envy upon
the Kingdom of Manwë ( = Paradise), and that in the beginning she was
one of those that he corrupted to his service. But she had disowned
her Master, desiring to be mistress of her own lust, taking all things
to herself to feed her emptiness . . .
In a ravine she lived, and took shape as a spider of monstrous form,
weaving her black webs in a cleft of the mountains. There she sucked
up all light that she could find, and spun it forth again in the dark
nets of strangling gloom, until no light more could come to her abode;
and she was famished.  . . .
Therefore Melkor said to her: 'Do as I bid; and if thou hunger still
when all is done ( = spoiling Paradise), then I will give thee
whatsoever thy lust may demand.  . . . '"

Some features of Ungoliant also obviously hints at Sin, mixing the two
entities Milton's Satan meets at the hell gate.
Here's a couple of pictures:


More information about the Milton-L mailing list