"Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven."
- John Milton (1608-1674)
Satan's declaration in Paradise Lost
The poem concerns the Christian story of the fall of Satan and his brethren and the rise of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
. . . 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