Western Literature^2 lesson 65

“After Satan’s rebellion, Satan was motivated more by his envy of God than his jealousy of God: true or false?”

The epic poem Paradise Lost was written by John Milton in 1667, ensuring his name would be forever remembered in the history books of the Western World. The poem describing Milton’s theories on Satan and his cohorts’ fall from Heaven is still read today by anyone studying Western Literature. Satan rose against God full of jealousy, but after mounting a hopeless attack against the angelic kingdom, the bitterness of his defeat ignited the envy within him to hurt God by attacking his most prized creation—man.

Jealousy is defined as coveting something in the possession of someone else, but envy is simply defined as wanting to tear someone down because they have something that you want. Motivated by his unquenchable thirst for power, Satan amassed an army and rose up to seize God’s throne. Unsurprisingly, he failed spectacularly, for how can one stand against God? Although he motivated his army of demons (and randomly inserted gods from other cultures) to keep fighting, his council of brother demons, including Mammon, Belial, Moloch, and Beelzebub, offer increasingly brainless ways to win the fight. Ultimately, they settle on an approach introduced by the biggest browbeater of them all—Satan himself. It is at this point in the story where Satan’s envy of God obviously overpowers the jealousy. As the smartest of them all, Satan realized that the one creation that God loved above all others could be corrupted in his favor to wound God. The rest of the story is dedicated to Satan escaping from hell and bringing the downfall of man in way that would devastate God like nothing else.

It is true that after the rebellion, Satan was indeed driven more by his envy of God than his jealousy and mankind will continue to fight to turn away from his syrupy, corrupting lies eternally because of it. In the end, Milton’s Paradise Lost is a staple of Western Literature that students and professors alike with suffer from forever.

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