In John Milton’s Paradise Lost
there is a point where Satan, thinking through how he is going to tempt Adam and Eve to fall, comes up with this plan, “I will excite their minds with vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires…”. For Satan, this plan is hatched from his own recollection of the fact that, “lifted up so high I thought one step higher would set me highest.” What Milton gives us through his depiction of the fall of both Satan and man is this picture of the inflamed desire for more. What seems to be at the heart of both “falls” is this illusory hunger for more.
In another text, Death of a Salesman, the lead character, Willy Loman, unravels to the point of madness, despair and suicide because he is always chasing “the wrong dreams.” He dreams of respect, identity, and acceptance even though he has everything he needs…
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