God’s greatest enemy and the ruler of Hell. Satan (his original name is erased; “Satan” means “Adversary”) was one of the most powerful Archangels, but then became jealous of God and convinced a third… (read full character analysis)
The ruler and creator of the universe, the traditional Christian God without the third person of the Trinity (the Holy Spirit). God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, but he demands total obedience from his… (read full character analysis)
The second person of the Trinity, equal to God and of the same essence, but a different person. In the traditional Christian Trinity the Son is eternally “begotten” of the Father, but in Milton’s cosmos… (read full character analysis)
The first human and the father of mankind. Adam is created as perfect – beautiful, innocent, and wise – but even in his unfallen state he is eager for forbidden knowledge and attracted by Eve… (read full character analysis)
Satan’s daughter who sprang from his head when he first conceived of disobedience, and then Satan incestuously impregnated her. When she is cast into Hell, Sin becomes a monster with the lower half of… (read full character analysis)
The greatest Archangel and leader of Heaven’s army. Michael later enters Eden to expel Adam and Eve from Paradise and show Adam visions of the future.
The second-in-command of Heaven’s army, Gabriel guards the staircase from Heaven to Earth. He enters Eden and confronts Satan, who flees.
A far-seeing angel who guards Eden but is tricked by Satan disguised as a cherub, allowing Satan to enter Eden.
An angel whom God sends to warn Adam and Eve about Satan. Raphael eats with the couple and then talks to Adam, explaining Satan’s war, the creation of Earth, and love.
The only angel among Satan’s legions to return to God’s side, despite the scorn of the other rebels.
Satan’s second-in-command, a powerful devil.
A violent devil who will later become a god demanding human sacrifice.
A well-spoken devil who advocates for sloth.
A greedy devil who loves riches. Even in Heaven Mammon was always crouched over, staring at the golden roads.
An architect devil who designs Pandaemonium and is associated with the Greek god Hephaestus.
The raw, “dark materials” out of which God creates everything, but also an embodiment of these, a figure who desires disorder.
Chaos’s consort, also part of the abyss surrounding God’s creation.
The Muse (Urania)
The figure of divine inspiration that Milton invokes to help him write the poem. The Muse is associated with Urania, the Greek Muse of astronomy, but also with the Holy Spirit.
An angel under Gabriel’s command who finds Satan in the form of a toad.
The other angel who finds Satan and brings him before Gabriel.
The Holy Spirit
The third person of the Trinity in Christian theology, but in Milton’s poem only referenced as his Muse and the “Comforter” who will help Christians after Jesus is gone.
Cain and Abel
Adam and Eve’s first children. Cain kills Abel out of jealousy.
The only righteous man in the early sinful world. God snatches him up to Heaven before he dies.
The only righteous man of a later generation, who builds an ark and then “restarts” the human race after God destroys the Earth with a flood.
A tyrant who tries to build the Tower of Babel.
A righteous man who leaves his idolatrous parents and goes to Canaan. The patriarch of Israel.
The Egyptian ruler who enslaves the Israelites.
A righteous Israelite who frees his people from Egypt and accepts the Ten Commandments.
Moses’s successor who leads the Israelites into the Promised Land, the symbolic precursor of Jesus.
A great Israelite king and ancestor of Jesus.
The virgin mother of Jesus, the “second Eve” who undoes Eve’s original sin.