Satan with Chaos and Night

Satan, Lucifer, Chaos, Night, Milton, Paradise Lost illustration

Pen on paper, 21 x 14.8 cm. 2014.

In the second book of Milton's Paradise Lost, Satan journeys from Hell to Earth with the aim of corrupting God's favourite new creation. On the way, he must pass through the primordial void, 

 

  ... a dark

  Illimitable ocean, without bound,

  Without dimension; where length, breadth, and height,

  And time, and place, are lost; where eldest Night

  And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold

  Eternal anarchy. 

After a great struggle, he eventually comes to the thrones of Chaos and Night, king and queen of the abyss, surrounded by various elemental retainers:

  At length a universal hubbub wild

  Of stunning sounds, and voices all confused,

  Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear

  With loudest vehemence. Thither he plies

  Undaunted, to meet there whatever Power

  Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss

  Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask

  Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies

  Bordering on light; when straight behold the throne

  Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread

  Wide on the wasteful Deep! With him enthroned

  Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,

  The consort of his reign; and by them stood

  Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name

  Of Demogorgon; Rumour next, and Chance,

  And Tumult, and Confusion, all embroiled,

  And Discord with a thousand various mouths.

 

Satan explains his purpose and asks for directions, which Chaos duly imparts,

 

  ...and Satan stayed not to reply,

  But, glad that now his sea should find a shore,

  With fresh alacrity and force renewed

  Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire,

  Into the wild expanse, and through the shock

  Of fighting elements, on all sides round

  Environed, wins his way...

Not for sale.

Satan departing from Chaos and Night.jpg
Satan departing from Chaos and Night.jpg