Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jeffrey Miller

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka

Committee Member

Patricia Matthew


This thesis contends that Beelzebub is the erotic and political consort of Satan in John Milton’s 1667 poem, Paradise Lost. Chapter one first examines Milton’s relative contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, and his play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Within Doctor Faustus, we find not only an earlier representation of the erotic and political consort relationship between Beelzebub and Satan, here named Belzebub and Lucifer, but that the primary purpose of Marlowe’s Belzebub is to be Lucifer’s consort. Chapter two’s section one focuses on the erotic consort relationship between Milton’s Beelzebub and Satan. Questions and concerns of intimate language and sexual sodomy are examined. Section two focuses on the political aspects of the consort relationship, including questions of political sodomy based on angelic rank. Section three examines Satan’s “ ‘situational’” sexuality in relation to Beelzebub and Eve as well as questions of sexuality and beauty. Section three determines that Satan is not attracted to Eve because he is jealous of Adam or of the relationship between Adam and Eve. Section three contends that when Satan witnesses erotic intimacy between Adam and Eve, he is grieving over his lost relationship with Beelzebub. Thus, this thesis seeks to restore to Paradise Lost studies, an erotic Beelezebub and sympathy for Satan, specifically through his intimate relationship with Beelzebub.

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