Why is Satan cast out of heaven?

Before the events of the poem, Satan sought retaliation against God the Father, believing that he deserved a position of authority at the right hand of God the Father, or even one equal to him. After God the Father announced that he had begotten a son, Satan attempted to lead in heaven, building a throne and gaining the support of one-third of Heaven’s angels. Their attempted rebellion to overthrow God did not last, however, resulting in Satan and the rebel angels being ultimately banished and cast into Hell. 

How is Satan characterized in Paradise Lost?

Satan is given a multi-faceted array of complexity in the poem to the point where he feels more akin to a fleshed out human amidst two-dimensional archetypes. Indeed, with characters like Adam and Eve serving more as representations of humankind, and with the supposedly pure goodness in God the Father and God the Sun, Satan is a far more fully realized, enriched and flawed character. Rather than characterizing him as a force of pure malevolence who threatens to destroy all that stands for love and goodness, Milton makes a philosopher out of Satan, one who dares to question the agreed-upon lies or social constructs that have kept so many angels in line. While he is not rendered purely as a hero or villain, the character is crafted so that the reader’s empathizes with him from the start.

Why do Adam and Eve eat the fruit?

Satan, in the form of a serpent, first coerces Eve into eating the fruit by showering her with praise, and then temptation. Supposedly, he achieved the ability to speak by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, which also prompted him to go looking for her. It is notable that he is able to sell Eve on eating from the Tree of Knowledge by not only manipulating her into thinking that God wants her to ultimately become independent, but also by emphasizing the deliciousness of the apple itself, a very human temptation. After eating the fruit, Eve finds Adam and tells him what she has done. Both cannot imagine a life without the other, or without living on equal terms, which causes Adam to eat the fruit too.

Why is Satan transformed into a serpent?

After Adam and Eve eat of the fruit, God the Son bemoans all serpents, damning them from ever standing upright again, forced now to move on their bellies. He also decrees that humans will forever be hostile to snakes, and vice versa. Satan flies back to Hell to boast of his victory to his followers. Once he declares that humankind has been successfully corrupted, the rebel angels’ cheers change to hisses, and they are transformed into snakes themselves, along with Satan. Manifestations of trees appear that produce fruit that turns into dust when the serpents try to eat from it. It is clear now that God the Son’s condemnations affect the rebel angels too, forced into the shame and punishment that they have inflicted on the humans.

What is Satan’s plan?

In Hell, Satan’s second-in-command Beezelbub challenges Satan’s plan to strike back against God, convinced that he has become too powerful. Satan proposes an idea: rather than destroying God’s creations they would corrupt them, causing these creations to bring about their own destruction. Having heard the rumors of God’s newest and most cherished creation, humankind, Satan decides to leave Hell to spy on them and learn how they can be perverted. Once he is able to infiltrate the Garden of Eden, taking the form of a serpent, he not only persuades Eve to disobey God the Father’s orders, but he also manipulates her into believing that she and Adam are depriving themselves of living their fullest lives, which God supposedly wants. Once Eve eats the fruit, Adam follows suit, and Satan views his plan as a success.