These magnificent Epstein sculptures, on the façade of the new Coventry Cathedral (which replaced the old one ruined in WW II), illustrate the survival to this day of popular recognition for the traditional images with which Milton enriched the Battle in Heaven in Book VI of "Paradise Lost." However, in his epic Milton shows that the ultimate defeat of Satan's plans is not by such military means as the Archangel Michael customarily musters, but by the creative authority of God's Son.
John Milton's Drama of Paradise Lost: Section 3: Satan manipulates his cohorts into assigning to him the heroic role of subverting Earth, God's newest creation. On his way he meets his lover, Sin, and his son by her, Death, and he converts them to his cause against God.
This video attempts a cultural survey of the origins of Satan, culminating in Milton's characterization. Despite some dogmatism, the account is a useful visual and conceptual introduction to the character.
This video attempts to recreate visually the narrative which Milton develops in Paradise Lost viaby streaming the series illustrations of his epic by Gustav Doré, thus providing a streaming virtual analog to the epic's plot. It illustrates the interaction of the Archangels with their fallen colleagues allied to Satan.
Lindall's book Paradise Lost Illustrated (poetry by John Milton) has been compared to other Milton illustrators including William Blake. According to New York University professor Karen Karbiener, many students prefer Lindall's version, which appeared in Heavy Metal magazine and has a popular following among young people. Professor Karbiener, a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, gave a lecture at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in 2004 on "...Milton's Satan and his impact on countercultural artistic movements from William Blake to the Beat poets in essence, the artists "between" Milton and Lindall, the radical artistic legacy."
Immediately after the chacterization of the author which opens Paradise Lost, the personality of Satan emerges as one of Milton's most notorious and vivid studies in morbid psychology. For Satan rationalizes his definitive failure, fall and ruin as validation for compulsive destructiveness in terms so plausible that revolutionaries such as the poet Shelley have equally deceived themselves into thinking that Milton, even if subconsciously, has made Satan the hero of the epic, Of course, in Paradise Regained Milton reasserts his awareness that the Son is the ultimate hero of the whole story. Indeed, if we are concerned about subtle characterization, the progression of Eve's initiatives makes her the mosty interesting character, if that status is not assigned to the Narrator himself, since the epic evokes Milton's own previous progression, from hellish despair at his blindness and political failure, to a transcendent acceptance of God's will, as reflected in his earlier sonnet on his blindness. The relevance of Satan's deluded rhetoric to modern politics is plausibly explained by Armando Iannucci in his commentary at http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/an-appreciation-of-john-miltons-...
Though this etching by the French artist Gustave Doré dates from 1866, it reflects the theatrical lighting favored in baroque art, which began to appear in the late plays of Shakespeare designed for the indoor Blackfriars Theatre. Picture and data courtesy of the Yorck Project, under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License (Wikipedia).