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The image of Satan in Rumi's "Mathnawi", Dante's "Divine Comedy" and Milton's "Paradise Lost"

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Title: The image of Satan in Rumi's "Mathnawi", Dante's "Divine Comedy" and Milton's "Paradise Lost"
Author(s): Anushiravani, Alireza
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Tikku, Giridhari
Department / Program: Comparative and World Literature
Discipline: Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Literature, Comparative Literature, Medieval Literature, Romance Literature, Middle Eastern Literature, English
Abstract: This dissertation is a study of the figure of Satan as a literary type in the works of three major poets of world literature: Rumi (1207-1273), Dante (1265-1321) and Milton (1608-1674). The common ground for comparison is their response to the question of dualism between good and evil. The multifaceted figure of Satan in these works makes him an interesting subject for study. In the Divine Comedy, Satan is a flat character. He is portrayed as anti-Christ and anti-Godhead. In fact, he seldom appears on stage though his presence can be felt in the entire Inferno. Dante's Satan functions more as a sign; thus, Satan becomes the turning point in the spiritual journey of the pilgrim. Furthermore, Satan, stuck up to his waist in the frozen river of Cocytus, demonstrate how love, this divine gift, can be misdirected. In Paradise Lost this figure is more fully developed as a character. He represents the destructive power of evil who destroys himself and others through his commitment to evil. But at the same time he is depicted as a proud rebel who, even though he knows he has been defeated, will not submit. Here he becomes a tragic hero. The issue here is that although Milton's Satan has heroic qualities, he is not "The Hero". Satan employs these heroic qualities for the wrong ends. He chooses evil intentionally and freely. In the Mathnawi Satan is much more complex. Sometimes he is the devil and the tempter, at other times a tragic victim and a true lover of God. It is only in Rumi's work that we see Satan (Iblis) as a true lover of God. However, these three poets have all tried to resolve the tension of opposites in their works by revealing the dualistic nature of man himself and how man is ultimately responsible for his choice.
Issue Date: 1992
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/23098
Rights Information: Copyright 1992 Anushiravani, Alireza
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9236390
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9236390
 

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