Reflecting on Freud's observation that Milton was among his “real teachers,” this article revisits the claim that the predicament of Satan in Paradise Lost might be interpreted through the psychoanalytic notion of trauma. After reviewing past efforts at employing this critical approach, the article tries to establish a clearer understanding of the satanic motive for rebellion and the existential crisis that underlies it by drawing on Cathy Caruth's Unclaimed Experience and Ruth Leys's Trauma: A Genealogy.

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