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Katherine Corrigan

AP English 12
7 December 2016

In Paradise Lost, Lucifer is transformed many times throughout his sinful trajectory. All of
these transformations represent corruption, inner turmoil, and eventually the acceptance of evil
and sin.
Lucifer, the most beautiful angel, changes into a perversion of himself, Satan, after he falls
from Heaven. Although the physical changes Satan undergoes are not detailed by Milton, Satans
face becomes visibly angry and loses any beauty he had previously had. Beelzebub, one of
Satans fellow devils, remarks that he has changd and lost his outward lustre (Book 1, Line
97). This is reflective of Christian idealogy that the body reflects the mind and that ugliness
belies ugliness and sin of the mind. After Satan arrives in Hell, he rapes Sin and creates Death,
forming a perversion of the Holy Trinity and assserting himself as Gods opposite, both morally
and physically.
While Satan travels to Earth, he changes his form into a stripling Cherube who is Not of
the prime (Book 3, Line 636-637) . He does this in order to make it past the angel watchman,
Uriel, who at first only sees a young and naive angel. Despite Satans best efforts, the watchman
sees Satans angry gestures and emotions and sees through the disguise. Because of Satans anger
and sin, his pretension could not fool someone who did not have the same sin and inner turmoil.
Satans mind was shown even through his disguise, as the thought of sin could be considered just
as bad as the actual action of the sin.

When Satan makes his way into the Garden of Eden, he changes again in order to get close
to Adam and Eve. First he changes into a bird of prey, a cormorant, sat like devising Death to
them who livd (Book 4, Lines 197-198). This shows that Satan, and by extension sin, looks for
opportunities to corrupt the pure of heart with a watchful eye. Satan changes again into a lion
with fierie glare (Book 4, Line 402), showing the ferocity of corruption and the strength of sin.
Satan then changes into a tiger and watches two gentle Fawnes at play (Book 4, Lines 404).
While watching the innocent fawns, Satan may grip them in each paw and destroy them, as they
represent the naivety and innocence of Adam and Eve. Satan turns last into a toad. As a toad, he
reaches Eve. Satan takes advantage of her vanity as she sits admiring her reflection in a pond. In
his form as a toad, Satan is able to take advantage of Eves weakness and corrupt her by
whispering into her ear and dreams. Satan has accepted his sin and anger and uses them to
corrupt others.
Through, changing his form, Satans anger and sin is shown and accepted. His form shows his
mind and inner thoughts or emotions. Milton uses Satans transformations to show character and
development and the eventual allowance of sin and corruption to take complete control.