by John Milton
Paradise Lost Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Book Number, Line Number
"How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse?" (1.629-30)
Satan is proud of his army, so proud that he's absolutely baffled that it was defeated. He thinks that a force as strong as his should never have known "repulse." His pride was so blinding that he didn't realize that God would easily "repulse" such a band, even though they "stood" like "gods."
"For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions whose exile
Hath emptied Heav'n shall fail to re-ascend,
Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?" (1.631-4)
Satan thinks so highly of his army that he has no doubts about their ability to "repossess their native seat." The pride he takes in his rebellion is evident as well in the fact that he grossly exaggerates ("emptied Heav'n") the number of angels who joined his rebellion (we learn later that only a third of the angels fell with Satan).
"fair angelic Eve,
Partake thou also! Happy though thou art,
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be.
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods
Thyself a goddess, not to Earth confined" (5.74-8).
Satan's first encounter with Eve (the evil dream he whispers in her ear) closely resembles his second (the Forbidden Fruit); in both, he appeals to Eve's pride, offering her the possibility of divinity ("thyself a goddess") and greater happiness while also boosting her self-esteem ("fair angelic Eve"). Here, as in Book 9, Satan attempts to get Eve to share in his misery by making her more like him (he fell because he wanted to be the god).