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Mary Buffaloe

AP English 12
Period 2

The Morning Star Falls

Throughout Paradise Lost Satan transforms into different creatures in a way
that helps him to sneak into Eden, as well as forms that symbolize his spiritual
de-evolution. His forms of archangel, fallen angel, cherubin, cormorant, toad, and finally
Lucifer starts as an archangel in heaven, and this is where his journey begins.
Archangels are the symbols of holy purity and righteousness, so this is the height of
Lucifers existence. At this time he was secretly corrupt, so him as an archangel shows
the hypocrisy of Lucifers nature in general. Lucifer means morning star, which
furthers the idea that this is the devil at his purest, which contrasts the rest of his forms
with the beginning.
Lucifer then becomes Satan as he falls from heavenly grace into hell. This is
significant because it shows the first real degradation of his soul physically to mirror the
mental degradation inside. His form as Satan is just a darker form of Lucifer, in all
senses. However, the book insinuates that he is still somewhat physically appealing at
this point which implies that his soul is still not at its worst. Satan chooses to be Satan
to be physically different from an angel so that they can be differentiated between.

Satan uses the form as a cherubin to trick Uriel into letting him into Eden
because the cherubim have the innocence of a child on them. This makes his breaking
and entering act much easier because no one suspects a child. This transformation
shows Satans child like disobedience from God by having him actually transform into a
When he enters Eden, Satan becomes a cormorant to disguise himself, but also
to look out onto the garden. Cormorants are birds of prey, and in a sense Satan is
preying upon humanity. The bird is an effective choice because it has sharp eyesight
that allows it to keep a look out. Its a practical choice as well as a symbolic choice
because Satan can spy whilst symbolizing a predator prey relationship. He also
becomes a lion and tiger to symbolize the predator relationship as well.
Satan becomes a toad so he can easily whisper nightmares into Eves ear from
the ground. Toads are creatures of the undergrowth, so a toad hopping around on the
ground is not out of place. Toads are also symbolic of the slime and filth of humanity
because of their very nature. Toads live in swamps and mud and in this moment that is
where Satans soul is. He is spilling lies into a womans ear, which really is a slimey
thing to do.
Lastly, Satan turns into a serpent because snakes are one of the greatest
symbols of evil. Heis literally snaking his evil into humanity, and he chooses this form
because it is unnoticable until they are right in front of you, like evil. In addition,
biblically, snakes were not created by God but it was first Satan that took the form of a