Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven
The saying is loaded with realism and wisdom. It brings home to the reader a vital philosophy of life that man should strive hard to ensure his freedom and independence. In other words, he should prefer a life of hardships and difficulties over a life of joy and bliss without compromising his freedom.
Furthermore, heaven is a symbol of peace and joy, while hell defines agony and torture. However, the quotation emphasizes the importance of freedom, by saying that man should opt to live in hell and bear the agony and torture without compromising his freedom than to living in heaven in the shackles of slavery.
Moreover, man by nature cherishes freedom and despises slavery. He is born free and freedom in his most cherished dream. So he wants to live independently, without giving up his own free-will and rights. In doing so, he is ever ready to face any challenges and hardships to maintain his freedom.
On the contrary, man who leads an idle life, remains dependent upon other, does not possess any self-esteem and self-respect. He lives a life of peace and bliss, outwardly, but he does not have the power to make his own decisions. He is always dependent upon others. So, by compromising his freedom, he becomes a burden on others.
However, a man who possesses the qualities of self-reliance and resilience never compromises on his principles and ideals. He is ever ready to face any challenge that life confronts with him. For him lion’s life of a day is far better than thousand days of slavery.
This is what the quotation preaches to us, that we should not compromise on our freedom at any cost, even if we have to give up all the blessings and joys of heaven. And we should always live a life of self-reliance and self-dependence without compromising our respect and dignity. Thus nobody can deny the veracity in the statement that better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.