Character Sketch of Beelzebub in Paradise Lost

Beelzebub is one of the rebel angels who fell from Heaven alongside Satan. He awakens soon after Satan. He is the first to interact with Satan and listen to his plans. In fact, Beelzebub serves as Satan’s most reliable ally and his second-in-command. He functions as a counselor to Satan and equally adept at diplomacy. He, alongside Satan convinces the other fallen angels into formulating a plan of revenge against the supposed wrongdoings of God. While Satan is proud and boisterous, Beelzebub reasons Satan with rationality and a realistic survey of their situation. He brings to light their dire circumstances and does not shy away from admitting that God indeed is all-powerful (almighty). He offers rational explanations for the situation the angels are in and does not coax the other angels with false promises of going back to their pre-fallen glory.

“Satan, however, has not Beelzebub’s wisdom and practical sense. For example, Satan rejoices at the immortality of the rebel angels, and hopes that they will thus be able to vex god through eternity Beelzebub at once points out that the immortality of the rebel angels also means eternal torture for them. Satan declares that the fallen angels will always be doing evil, thus vexing god. Beelzebub shrewdly observes that their very opposition may be turned by god into the furtherance of his own glory. Bold, proud and ambitions, Satan is at his best on a throne or at the head of an army. The proper place for the wise and sagacious Beelzebub is the council chamber” (”Discuss the character”). He offers a calm rationality to Satan’s brazen call-of-action against their overthrow.Unlike Satan, he isn’t rash in his decisions but cautious. He openly accepts the superiority of God’s forces over the angels and devises that only through trickery and deceit can they win. ‘’ Of force believe almighty, since no less/ Than such could have o’erpow’red such force as ours” (I.144). While Satan belittles their Fall using bold metaphors of bravery, Beelzebub instead accepts the great and eternal misfortune that has befallen them. Through his shrewd powers of persuasion, he helps direct Satan’s course of action as his chief lieutenant.

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