Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

eBook - 2017
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Paradise Lost is one of the most epic, complex theological works to date. Milton's masterpiece in blank verse tells the story of the fall from grace. His protagonist is often read as Satan, who rebels against the omnipotent God, though he cannot win. Milton expresses the paradox of free will within the creation of an all-knowing God.
Publisher: [S.I.] : Duke Classics, 2017.
ISBN: 9781620116678
Additional Contributors: Overdrive Inc
Summary: Paradise Lost is one of the most epic, complex theological works to date. Milton's masterpiece in blank verse tells the story of the fall from grace. His protagonist is often read as Satan, who rebels against the omnipotent God, though he cannot win. Milton expresses the paradox of free will within the creation of an all-knowing God.

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b
btshituka
Aug 19, 2017

Milton best describes what Paradise Lost is in book 1 when he summons the muse. Paradise Lost is Milton's attempt to "justify the ways of God to men." The story opens with Satan and his host in hell after falling from grace, result of a failed rebellion in heaven. After much debating, Satan makes his way through Chaos to Eden, Paradise. There he eventually tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, which leads to man's downfall. The story can't be summarized with those words alone though. Along the way we are told of the primeval war in heaven between God and Lucifer, we learn how and why the world and man were created; the damnation of man, and his redemption. Philip Pullman does a good job of also providing an introduction at the beginning of each book which I found to be helpful while reading the story.

t
Tabaqui
Oct 22, 2016

Well, this one is interesting, all right. Yes, it is a poem, but it is written in blank verse, so does not rhyme. I read this for my literature class, and found it easier the more I read. Milton gets some things wrong, notably his portrayal of Eve. From Milton's point of view, the fall was completely Eve's fault, and Adam's actions were almost heroic. Obviously, you don't want to get your doctrine from Paradise Lost, but you can enjoy an epic poem and Milton's fantastical imaginings that fill in some of the blanks from the Bible.

n
Nymeria23
May 25, 2014

I was fortunate enough to read the Plain English version of Paradise Lost (I actually understood what was being said) and thought it was pretty good. It was an interesting interpretation on the events of the beginning of time and mankind, and was better than I expected for a class-read. I can't believe that Milton was blind when ;he' wrote it! That's crazy!

l
lukasevansherman
Apr 16, 2013

"None ever wished it longer than it is."-Samuel Johnson
"Oh snap!"-Alexander Pope

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

God and Satan get in a nasty custody battle. As always, it's the kids who suffer most. The theology is unsophisticated, but the language and characterization are magnificent. Read it out loud, and don't bother with the meaning of every word. Most people, indeed most Christians, don't realize the story is not part of the Bible. (Another example is Dante's Inferno. There is no detailed description of Hell in the Bible, or Heaven, either.) Puritans of Milton's era read the Bible with great earnestness, and would have known Paradise Lost was "creative non-fiction".

seansieger Jan 04, 2012

I once heard someone say something like, ``Mistrust anyone who tells you what something means.'' Or in this case that something does not mean (as in the comment below). That Milton's theology does not have sense is not a trustworthy statement. I have to limit myself to the background of alchemy and the esoteric Judeo-Christian tradition, when I say that armed with a little more reading---there are 1600 years of such primary text, that predates Milton, to choose from---Milton's very readable poem is full of sense. I am not very much interested in the biographical, but a rigorous reading of the whole of Paradise Lost uncovers that Milton was very well-read in the occult---that sense blooms throughout Paradise Lost.

Google `paradise lost facsimile'. There is beautiful pdf of a scanned facsimile edition produced by someone at the University of Toronto I think.

There is something sort of corrupt about modernized texts.

t
The_Bill
May 18, 2010

Most of us will probably only want to read the first two parts, which are magnificent.

If you happen to be interested in comparing Milton's epic to the Homer or Virgil's, you should definitely look at John Leonard's MA thesis - he's the current president of the Milton society. It's available online, I found it on Google. It's all about how Milton outdoes the heroism of the Greek and Roman epics by making the Son's actions even more incredible, although many later readers found these passages farcical (eg. Ajax throws a rock, Christ throws mountains.)

When Lucifer flies through Chaos, the super interesting possibility emerges that in Milton's cosmology it is primal Chaos, and not Hell, that is God's true enemy. Such a reading places Satan as a dupe and a distraction, infinitely less powerful than the two rival powers that war above his head.

All the passages about Eden and temptation are weighed down, I think, by their need to investigate and support Milton's (frankly nonsensical) theology. If you do read to the end, though, there's a great scene between Adam and Eve... still, though, the real genius is in the first two parts, because that's where Milton's imagination was allowed to run riot rather than support and attempt to logically synthesize dogma.

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j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

chaos and old night.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

What, though the field be lost, all is not lost.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

darkness visible.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

rebel angels.

j
Janice21383
Apr 04, 2012

...to justify God's ways to Man.

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