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Inside Paradise LostReading the Designs of Milton's Epic$
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David Quint

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.001.0001

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The Politics of Envy

The Politics of Envy

(p.122) 5 The Politics of Envy
Inside Paradise Lost

David Quint

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on Satan's envy, a condition associated with vision. Satan's envy links vision to time, and to the finite goods of the world. His refusal to bow down before what he takes to be a temporal image of God corresponds to the later historical rejection of the incarnate Son by the incredulous and envious Jews—while his adversary, the zealous Abdiel, plays the role of a fearless Nicodemus before the Sanhedrin. Satan further argues backward, from the apparently secondary, temporal status of the Son, to assert that the Father, whom the Son visibly expresses, is equally secondary and a purely temporal power to be opposed by temporal force. In his envy, the devil invents worldly monarchy by misattributing it to God and wanting it for himself, inventing war in the process.

Keywords:   Satan, envy, vision, Abdiel, Nicodemus, temporal power, temporal force, monarchy, war

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