Paradise Lost by John Milton
(Penguin Classics)

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Basically, in Paradise Lost, Milton has taken the first three chapters of Genesis and built a massive 12-chapter poem that fills in the gaps with ideas from other parts of the Bible...For a theology and literature geek like me, Paradise Lost is essential reading. But I think lots of readers would appreciate the richness of Milton’s tale.
-Shelf Love

Synopsis

Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle ranges across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the centre of the
conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.

Milton's influence has been felt by many writers since, none more so in recent times than the novelist Philip Pullman. His acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials takes it title from a line in the poem, and the worlds he created for Lyra and Will have entranced readers across generations. His introduction to the poem is a tribute that is both personal and full of insight; his enthusiasm for Milton's language, his skill, and his supreme gifts as a storyteller is infectious and
instructive. He encourages readers above all to experience the poem for themselves, and surrender to its enchantment.
 

About John Milton

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John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674.
 
Published February 27, 2003 by Penguin. 146 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cooking. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Paradise Lost
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Suite 101

Above average
Reviewed by Jennifer M. Willhite on Jun 11 2015

Milton’s use of language and imagery are extremely powerful, enduring, and in some aspects, macabre...Milton plays to human nature in his description of the angels. The audience catches a glimpse of themselves in the portrayal of these ethereal figures as they witness some of their own characteristics reflected.

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Shelf Love

Above average
Reviewed by Teresa on Nov 09 2010

Basically, in Paradise Lost, Milton has taken the first three chapters of Genesis and built a massive 12-chapter poem that fills in the gaps with ideas from other parts of the Bible...For a theology and literature geek like me, Paradise Lost is essential reading. But I think lots of readers would appreciate the richness of Milton’s tale.

Read Full Review of Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics)

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