`Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,’
Said then the lost archangel, `this the seat
That we must change for heav’n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: furthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor: one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder bath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
Satan is a great speaker. His Language is persuasive but he is fair, because he tells everybody the truth. When someone will move from Heaven to Hell, he will lose everything. But he prefers to live free in Hell, than to live like a sevant in Heaven and he is moved by Revenge. We have to remember that God and Satan are quite similar because they have equal intellect, even if God is stronger. Macbeth and Satan are similar because they are both magnificent creatures, but they are doomed to destroy themselves.
I have found a clear explanation of "Satan's speech":
Satan is surveying his new home trying to become aware of the new situation after his downfall. Satan and the Rebel Angels had fallen down through space “Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night” before landing in hell. Satan compares the new world to Paradise and feels lost because everything is different here: “the region, the soil, the clime“; there is only “a mournful gloom” all over the place instead of the “celestial light” of the Paradise. He is not glad at first to be there, but he soon rejects despair and accepts the new situation: “Be it so…. Farewell happy fields where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail infernal word”. In the following lines Satan shows all his ambition, all his self-confidence and determination. He realizes that now he is the “new possessor” of a place where “ farthest from him( God)…. at least we shall be free….and….may reign secure”. His ambition is to have a reign somewhere, no matter if that place is gloomy and horrible. He is great in the self-assurance of his strength: he has got “a mind not to be changed by place or time”, a mind that “ can make a Heaven of Hell, and a Hell of Heaven”. Then hell and heaven are only states of mind. Milton’s hell is not a real place! Hell is in the mind because the mind can change the external world: if we live in a Paradise but our mind perceives it as a hell, that place will be hell and viceversa. Satan is the real hero of Paradise Lost; he shows all the characteristics that Milton admired: courage, pride, oratorical power, self-confidence, ambition and so on.He is great in the self-assurance of his strength and in his contempt of the pain that has been inflicted on him. He also embodies Milton’s Puritan ideals of independence and liberty since he is seen as a rebel fighting against the absolute power of a tyrannical God, just as Milton, defender of liberties, struggles his battle against a despotic king. As Blake said, “Milton is on the Devil’s party without knowing”. He feels equal to God in reason and inferior only in power. When God banishes him from Heaven, he feels himself injured and wants to take a revenge against him, corrupting His new creation: man. He succeeds in his task and in the form of a snake, he persuades Eve to eat an apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge. Satan is ambitious. He is very proud and his boundless pride makes him believe that it “is better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven”. He has got the traits of the great military leaders and tries and succeeds in giving courage to his depressed soldiers after a defeat. The rebellious element in Milton’s Satan was later to influence the Romantic poets in the conception of the “satanic hero”, a lonely outsider who struggles against everything and everybody, isolated from the rest of mankind. In the Byronic Hero we can find many traits of Milton’s Satan.Even if Satan is the central figure in the passage, the presence of God is always felt. Satan never directly names him, but God is always in his thoughts. He feels to be equal to God in reason; he is inferior to him only in the power because God possesses the strenght:” what reason has equalled, thunder hath made greater”. He considers himself to be only “less than he”. Satan despises the pain inflicted on him, but he seems frustrated because he is aware of God’s superiority: he refers to God calling him “ the Almighty” ,he admits that “ he who now is Sovran can dispose and bid what shall be right”. The language of the passage, direct and forceful, has the characteristics of the best oratory full of memorable phrases.