Saturday, January 23, 2010

Satan: A Hellish Body and Soul

As Sarah mentions in her post, we’ve discussed binaries quite a bit in class during this past week, and I would like to point out another one that I found in Paradise Lost. Satan mentions the following more than once: “Me miserable! which way I flie / Infinite wrauth, and infinite despair? / Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell” (4.73-75). In this statement I see a relationship between soul and body akin to the one in Marvell’s poem. In Marvell, the soul and body feel trapped by the other and desires to escape the other. They, of course, cannot because they are fused together into one—their “self” is the other in a certain sense and they cannot “flie” away. Satan, in the same way is “bodily” trapped in hell the place and desires to escape; yet when he does leave, he realizes that hell has followed him because hell is written into his “soul” and he has become the embodiment of hell: his “self” is hell. Thus, I see a similarity between Marvell’s body and soul union and Satan’s inability to “flie” from the repercussions of the physical place of hell because it is fused into his being/his soul.

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