This article suggests that Milton’s representation of Satanic ingratitude in book 4 of Paradise Lost imports into his epic poem some of his previous thoughts on unchangeable affections in the divorce tracts. Satan’s inability to repent in the soliloquy on Mount Niphates is routed through an experience of emotional fixity; he fails to feel gratitude for divine beneficence even though he knows he ought to feel it. In the divorce tracts, Milton bases his argument for divorce on the claim that certain affections, even negative ones, could not be changed because they originate in a person’s innermost nature. Satan’s soliloquy, I propose, explores the possibility that a similar emotional immutability may preclude certain persons from participating in virtue.

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