The devil's party representations of the Miltonic Satan in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
by Michael S Weitz(
and held by
This thesis focuses on Philip Pullman's young adult fantasy series, His Dark Materials, released between 1995 and 2000, and its connection to John Milton's Protestant epic Paradise Lost, published in 1667. In particular, it examines how Pullman utilizes Milton's figure of Satan. The Miltonic Satan has had a long history of critical analysis as well as a unique place in public discourse. Pullman uses the more modern reading of Satan as freedom fighter and epic hero as well as traditional views of Satan as a deceitful tempter. This thesis primarily examines the Satanic parallels in Pullman's Lord Asriel and Mary Malone, though it also analyzes Satanic traits in other Pullman characters. Ultimately, by not relying on any one interpretation of Satan, and by representing different aspects of the character in a wide range of figures in his own works, Pullman offers choice rather than demanding adherence to his own interpretation, aligning him closely with Milton himself. Pullman also argues that Satanic qualities - good and bad - have been disseminated not only amongst his cast of characters, but amongst the human race.