An Essay on Three Rebellious FiguresA Comparative Study



An Essay on Three Rebellious Figures
-------Satan in Paradise Lost, The Monkey King and Song Jiang.
I Introduction
Paradise Lost, the greatest epic in English literature history, was composed by John Milton in the year 1665, after seven years labor in the darkness. With great difficulty he found a publisher. Its success was immediate, though, like all his works, it met with venomous criticism. Milton was persecuted by the defenders of the throne after the Restoration because he was a faithful advocator of the Cromwell Government. Hardness of life brought him blindness. But this hard period was the most fruitful time in his literary life. Paradise Lost, the story taken from the Holy Bible, was written in this period. The story is about how Satan rebels against God and the seduce of Adam and Eve and the lost of Eden, which is known by every Christian.
In the end of Yuan Dynasty the great book on peasant rebellion in China, Heroes of the Marshes, was brought out by Shi Nai-an. Shin based his novel on the real historical event combined with the folklores. The story is about how Song Jiang leads his fellows to rebel against the harsh reality. They kill the corrupt official and distribute their money to the poor. But by following Song Jiang¡¯s ideas, he himself and the other rebels surrender at last and become the soldiers of the of the empire. The Pilgrimage to the West has been known by every child ever since the publication in the middle of sixteenth century. Like Heroes of the Marshes, Wu Cheng-En, the author of the novel, also based the story on the folklores. But the book, like Paradise Lost, is based on religious story and we cannot find archetypes of the most of characters in reality. The story begins with the birth of the monkey king and he¡¯s rebel against the gods, ends with the fulfillment of his mission. The body of the novel is about how the monkey king and his fellow escort their master Tang San-Zhang, an eminent monk, from China to India to fetch sutras. The monkey king succeeds in fighting with all the devils on the way to India. The monkey king is a half-monkey half-human thing. Therefore his look and his behavior arouse children¡¯s interests. However, it¡¯s definitely not a simple Child book. The monkey king¡¯s rebellion against gods symbolizes the rebellion against authority and so much more. The significance of the novel enables it to become one of the four greatest classic novels in China¡¯s literary history.
Some say that Heroes of the Marshes, The Pilgrimage to the West and Paradise Lost are incomparable. One is an epic; the other two are ancient Chinese novels. Furthermore, the ¡°novels¡± are quite different from English ones. They view comparative study from a stylistic way, not a thematic way.
The three figures were born in different time, different countries, speaking different languages. However, when we exam these three, we shall find amazing similarities in their characters: brave, strong, firm and persistent and rebellious. Song Jiang was the earliest born one. Two hundred years later, the monkey king was brought forth by Wu Cheng-En. Milton created Satan even later. But we should say Satan is the earliest. Because Milton¡¯s ideas were modeled on the Holy Bible, which was an ¡°old¡± story made by Jews, while Heroes of the Marshes and The Pilgrimage to the West were based on the contemporary folklore. Although Satan is the earliest, his rebellious spirit is the strongest, we should say. This article is a comparative analysis of the spiritual contents of these three figures, that is to say, an analysis of their rebellious characteristics.
II Analysis In Brief
All the characters in literary works are the fictional creations of the authors, but not merely fictional, the background has influence on the construction progress of the character. Paradise Lost was written in the Restoration Period. It was finished in 1665,after Milton¡¯s seven years¡¯ labor in the darkness. Milton was a faithful advocator of the Cromwell Government. After the collapse of the bourgeoisies¡¯ government, sadness immerged him, but he never lost his courage and fought on with his pen. We cannot say Satan is Milton himself, but at least he is somewhat representation of