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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost

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395 pages
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Apr 7, 2015


Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books (in the manner of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered by critics to be Milton's "major work", and helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men"

Short Summary:
The poem is separated into twelve "books" or sections, the lengths of which vary greatly (the longest is Book IX, with 1,189 lines, and the shortest Book VII, with 640). The Arguments at the head of each book were added in subsequent imprints of the first edition. Originally published in ten books, a fully "Revised and Augmented" edition reorganized into twelve books was issued in 1674, and this is the edition generally used today.

The poem follows the epic tradition of starting in medias res (Latin for in the midst of things), the background story being recounted later.
Milton's story has two narrative arcs, one about Satan (Lucifer) and the other following Adam and Eve. It begins after Satan and the other rebel angels have been defeated and banished to Hell, or, as it is also called in the poem, Tartarus. In Pandæmonium, Satan employs his rhetorical skill to organise his followers; he is aided by Mammon and Beelzebub. Belial and Moloch are also present. At the end of the debate, Satan volunteers to poison the newly created Earth and God's new and most favoured creation, Mankind. He braves the dangers of the Abyss alone in a manner reminiscent of Odysseus or Aeneas.

After an arduous traversal of the Chaos outside Hell, he enters God's new material World, and later the Garden of Eden.

At several points in the poem, an Angelic War over Heaven is recounted from different perspectives. Satan's rebellion follows the epic convention of large-scale warfare. The battles between the faithful angels and Satan's forces take place over three days. At the final battle, the Son of God single-handedly defeats the entire legion of angelic rebels and banishes them from Heaven. Following this purge, God creates the World, culminating in his creation of Adam and Eve. While God gave Adam and Eve total freedom and power to rule over all creation, He gave them one explicit command: not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death.

Apr 7, 2015

About the author

YAZAR:MURAT UKRAYYetkinlikler:Aynı zamanda bir yazar olan ve yaklaşık genel araştırma konuları ile fizikle ve birleşik alan kramı ile ilgili 2006’dan beri kaleme aldığı yaklaşık 12 eseri bulunan Murat UKRAY, yine bunları kendi kurmuş olduğu çeşitli web siteleri üzerinden, kitaplarını sadece dijital elektronik ortamda, hem düzenli olarak yılda yazmış veya yayınlamış olduğu diğer eserleri de yayın hayatına e-KİTAP ve POD (Print on Demand -talebe göre yayıncılık-) sistemine göre yayın hayatına geçirerek okurlarına sunmayı ilke olarak edinirken; diğer yandan da, projenin SOSYAL yönü olan doğayı korumak amaçlı başlattığı "e-KİTAP PROJESİ" isimli yayıncılık sistemiyle KİTABINI KLASİK SİSTEMLE YAYINLAYAMAYAN "AMATÖR YAZARLAR" için, elektronik ortamda kitap yayıncılığı ile kitaplarını bu sistemle yayınlatmak isteyen PROFESYONEL yayıncılar ve yazarlar için de hemen hemen her çeşit kitabın (MAKALE, AKADEMİK DERS KİTABI, ŞİİR, ROMAN, HİKAYE, DENEME, GÜNLÜK TASLAK) elektronik ortamda yayıncılığının önünü açan e-YAYINCILIĞA 2010 yılı başlarından beri başlamıştır ve halen daha ilgili projeleri yürütmektedir..Aynı zamanda YAZAR KOÇLUĞU ve KUANTUM & BİRLEŞİK ANA KURAMI doğrultusunda, kişisel gelişim uzmanlığı konularında da faaliyet göstermektedir..Çalışma alanları:Köşe yazarlığı yapmak, Profesyonel yazarlık (12 yıldır), Blog yazarlığı, web sitesi kurulumu, PHP Programlama, elektronik ticaret sistemleri, Sanal kütüphane uygulamaları, e-Kitap Uygulamaları ve Yazılımları, Kişisel gelişim, Kuantum mekaniği ve Birleşik Alan teorisi ile ilgili Kuramsal ve Uygulama çalışmaları..

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Table of Contents


Preface to Paradise Lost

About the Author

Book I

Book II

Book III

Book IV

Book V

Book VI

Book VII


Book IX

Book X

Preface to Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books (in the manner of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered by critics to be Milton's major work, and helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to justify the ways of God to men

Short Summary

The poem is separated into twelve books or sections, the lengths of which vary greatly (the longest is Book IX, with 1,189 lines, and the shortest Book VII, with 640). The Arguments at the head of each book were added in subsequent imprints of the first edition. Originally published in ten books, a fully Revised and Augmented edition reorganized into twelve books was issued in 1674, and this is the edition generally used today.

The poem follows the epic tradition of starting in medias res (Latin for in the midst of things), the background story being recounted later.

Milton's story has two narrative arcs, one about Satan (Lucifer) and the other following Adam and Eve. It begins after Satan and the other rebel angels have been defeated and banished to Hell, or, as it is also called in the poem, Tartarus. In Pandæmonium, Satan employs his rhetorical skill to organise his followers; he is aided by Mammon and Beelzebub. Belial and Moloch are also present. At the end of the debate, Satan volunteers to poison the newly created Earth and God's new and most favoured creation, Mankind. He braves the dangers of the Abyss alone in a manner reminiscent of Odysseus or Aeneas. After an arduous traversal of the Chaos outside Hell, he enters God's new material World, and later the Garden of Eden.

At several points in the poem, an Angelic War over Heaven is recounted from different perspectives. Satan's rebellion follows the epic convention of large-scale warfare. The battles between the faithful angels and Satan's forces take place over three days. At the final battle, the Son of God single-handedly defeats the entire legion of angelic rebels and banishes them from Heaven. Following this purge, God creates the World, culminating in his creation of Adam and Eve. While God gave Adam and Eve total freedom and power to rule over all creation, He gave them one explicit command: not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death.

The story of Adam and Eve's temptation and fall is a fundamentally different, new kind of epic: a domestic one. Adam and Eve are presented for the first time in Christian literature as having a full relationship while still being without sin. They have passions and distinct personalities. Satan, disguised in the form of a serpent, successfully tempts Eve to eat from the Tree by preying on her vanity and tricking her with rhetoric. Adam, learning that Eve has sinned, knowingly commits the same sin. He declares to Eve that since she was made from his flesh, they are bound to one another ‒ if she dies, he must also die. In this manner, Milton portrays Adam as a heroic figure, but also as a greater sinner than Eve, as he is aware that what he is doing is wrong.

After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve have lustful sex. At first, Adam is convinced that Eve was right in thinking that eating the fruit would be beneficial. However, they soon fall asleep and have terrible nightmares, and after they awake, they experience guilt and shame for the first time. Realizing that they have committed a terrible act against God, they engage in mutual recrimination.

Eve's pleas to Adam reconcile them somewhat. Her encouragement enables Adam and Eve both to approach God, to bow and sue for grace with suppliant knee, and to receive grace from God. In a vision shown to him by the angel Michael, Adam witnesses everything that will happen to mankind until the Great Flood. Adam is very upset by this vision of the future, so Michael also tells him about humankind's potential redemption from original sin through Jesus Christ (whom Michael calls King Messiah).

Adam and Eve are cast out of Eden, and Michael says that Adam may find a paradise within thee, happier far. Adam and Eve also now have a more distant relationship with God, who is omnipresent but invisible (unlike the tangible Father in the Garden of Eden).



Satan is the first major character introduced in the poem. Formerly called Lucifer, he was the most beautiful of all angels in Heaven, and is tragic figure who describes himself with the now-famous quote Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven. He is introduced to Hell after he leads a failed rebellion to wrestle control of Heaven from God. Satan's desire to rebel against his creator stems from his unwillingness to be subjugated by God and his Son, claiming that angels are self-begot, self-raised, and thereby denying God's authority over them as their creator.

Satan is deeply arrogant, albeit powerful and charismatic. Satan's persuasive powers are evident throughout the book; not only is he cunning and deceptive, but he is also able to rally the angels to continue in the rebellion after their agonising defeat in the Angelic War. He argues that God rules as a tyrant and that all the angels ought to rule as gods.

Satan is comparable in many ways to the tragic heroes of classic Greek literature, but Satan's hubris far surpasses those of previous tragedies. Though at times he plays the narrative role of an anti-hero, he is still commonly understood to be the antagonist of the epic. However, the true nature of his role in the poem has been the subject of much notoriety and scholarly debate. While some scholars, like the critic and writer C. S. Lewis, interpret the poem as a genuine Christian morality tale, other critics, like William Empson, view it as a more ambiguous work, with Milton's complex characterisation of Satan playing a large part in that perceived ambiguity.


Adam is the first human created by God. Though initially alone, Adam demands a mate from God. Considered God's prized creation, Adam, along with his wife, rules over all the creatures of the world and resides in the Garden of Eden. He is more intelligent and curious about external ideas than Eve. His complete infatuation with Eve, while pure in and of itself, eventually contributes to his joining her in disobedience to God.

Unlike the Biblical Adam, before he leaves Paradise this version of Adam is given a glimpse of the future of mankind (including a synopsis of stories from the Old and New Testaments) by the angel Michael.

The Temptation and Fall of Eve, 1808 (illustration of Milton's Paradise Lost)


Eve is the second human created by God, taken from one of Adam's ribs and shaped into a female form of Adam. In her innocence, she is the model of a good wife, graceful and submissive to Adam. Though happy, she longs for knowledge and, more specifically, self-knowledge. Her first act in existence is to turn away from Adam and look at and ponder her own reflection. Eve is extremely beautiful and thoroughly in love with Adam, though may feel suffocated by his constant presence. One day, she convinces Adam that it would be good for them to split up and work different parts of the Garden. In her solitude, she is tempted by Satan to sin against God. Adam shortly follows along with her.

The Son of God

The Son of God is the spirit that will become Jesus Christ, though he is never named explicitly, since he has not yet entered human form. The Son of God shares total union with God, and indeed is understood to be a person of the Godhead, along with the Father and the Spirit. He is the ultimate hero of the epic and is infinitely powerful, singlehandedly defeating Satan and his followers and driving them into Hell. The Son of God tells Adam and Eve about God's judgment after their sin. However, he sacrificially volunteers to eventually journey to the World, become a man himself, and redeem the Fall of Man through his own death and resurrection. In the final scene, a vision of Salvation through the Son of God is revealed to Adam by Michael. Still, the name, Jesus of Nazareth, and the details of Jesus' story are not depicted in the poem.

God the Father

God the Father is the creator of Heaven, Hell, the World, and of everyone and everything there is. He desires glory and praise from all his creations. He is an all-powerful, all-knowing, infinitely good being who cannot be overthrown by even the great army of angels Satan incites against him. The stated purpose of the poem is to justify the ways of God to men, so God often converses with the Son of God concerning his plans and reveals his motives regarding his actions. The poem portrays God's process of creation in the way that Milton believed it was done, with God creating Heaven, Earth, Hell, and all the creatures that inhabit these separate planes from part of Himself, not out of nothing. Thus, according to Milton, the ultimate authority of God derives from his being the author of creation. Satan tries to justify his rebellion by denying this aspect of God and claiming self-creation, but he admits to himself this is not the case, and that God deserved no such return/ From me, whom He created what I was.


Raphael is an archangel whom God sends to warn Adam about Satan's infiltration of Eden and to warn him that Satan is going to try to curse Adam and Eve. He also has a lengthy discussion with the curious Adam regarding creation and events which transpired in Heaven.


Michael is a mighty archangel who fought for God in the Angelic War. In the first battle, he wounds Satan terribly with a powerful sword that God designed to even cut through the substance of angels. After Adam and Eve disobey God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, God sends the angel Michael to visit Adam and Eve. His duty is to escort Adam and Eve out of Paradise. Before he does this, Michael shows Adam visions of the future which cover an outline of the Bible, from the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis, up through the story of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

* * * *

About the Author

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)—written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.

William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the greatest English author, and he remains generally regarded as one of the preeminent writers in the English language, though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind, though he (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described Milton's politics as those of an acrimonious and surly republican.

Because of his republicanism, Milton has been the subject of centuries of British partisanship.

* * * *

Book I

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast

Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,

With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man

Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,

Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top

Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire

That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,

In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth

Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill

Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd

Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,

That with no middle flight intends to soar

Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues

Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer

Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,

Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first

Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread

Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss

And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark

Illumine, what is low raise and support;

That to the highth of this great Argument

I may assert th' Eternal Providence,

And justifie the wayes of God to men.

Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view

Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause

Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State,

Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off

From their Creator, and transgress his Will

For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?

Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt?

Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile

Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd

The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride

Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host

Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring

To set himself in Glory above his Peers,

He trusted to have equal'd the most High,

If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim

Against the Throne and Monarchy of God

Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud

With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power

Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie

With hideous ruine and combustion down

To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,

Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.

Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night

To mortal men, he with his horrid crew

Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe

Confounded though immortal: But his doom

Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain

Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes

That witness'd huge affliction and dismay

Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:

At once as far as Angels kenn he views

The dismal Situation waste and wilde,

A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round

As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames

No light, but rather darkness visible

Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace

And rest can never dwell, hope never comes

That comes to all; but torture without end

Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed

With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:

Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd

For those rebellious, here their Prison ordain'd

In utter darkness, and their portion set

As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n

As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.

O how unlike the place from whence they fell!

There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd

With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,

He soon discerns, and weltring by his side

One next himself in power, and next in crime,

Long after known in PALESTINE, and nam'd

BEELZEBUB. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,

And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words

Breaking the horrid silence thus began.

If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd

From him, who in the happy Realms of Light

Cloth'd with transcendent brightnes didst outshine

Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope,

And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,

Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd

In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest

From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd

He with his Thunder: and till then who knew

The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those

Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage

Can else inflict do I repent or change,

Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind

And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit,

That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,

And to the fierce contention brought along

Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd

That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,

His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd

In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,

And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?

All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,

And study of revenge, immortal hate,

And courage never to submit or yield:

And what is else not to be overcome?

That Glory never shall his wrath or might

Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace

With suppliant knee, and deifie his power

Who from the terrour of this Arm so late

Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,

That were an ignominy and shame beneath

This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods

And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,

Since through experience of this great event

In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,

We may with more successful hope resolve

To wage by force or guile eternal Warr

Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,

Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy

Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.

So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain,

Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:

And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers,

That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr

Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds

Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King;

And put to proof his high Supremacy,

Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate,

Too well I see and rue the dire event,

That with sad overthrow and foul defeat

Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host

In horrible destruction laid thus low,

As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences

Can Perish: for the mind and spirit remains

Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state

Here swallow'd up in endless misery.

But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now

Of force believe Almighty, since no less

Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)

Have left us this our spirit and strength intire

Strongly to suffer and support our pains,

That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,

Or do him mightier service as his thralls

By right of Warr, what e're his business be

Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire,

Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;

What can it then avail though yet we feel

Strength undiminisht, or eternal being

To undergo eternal punishment?

Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.

Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable

Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,

To do ought good never will be our task,

But ever to do ill our sole delight,

As being the contrary to his high will

Whom we resist. If then his Providence

Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,

Our labour must be to pervert that end,

And out of good still to find means of evil;

Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps

Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb

His inmost counsels from their destind aim.

But see the angry Victor hath recall'd

His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail

Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid

The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice

Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder,

Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage,

Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now

To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.

Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,

Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.

Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,

The seat of desolation, voyd of light,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend

From off the tossing of these fiery waves,

There rest, if any rest can harbour there,

And reassembling our afflicted Powers,

Consult how we may henceforth most offend

Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,

How overcome this dire Calamity,

What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,

If not what resolution from despare.

Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate

With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes

That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides

Prone on the Flood, extended long and large

Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge

As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,

TITANIAN, or EARTH-BORN, that warr'd on JOVE,

BRIARIOS or TYPHON, whom the Den

By ancient TARSUS held, or that Sea-beast

LEVIATHAN, which God of all his works

Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:

Him haply slumbring on the NORWAY foam

The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,

Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,

With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind

Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night

Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:

So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay

Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence

Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will

And high permission of all-ruling Heaven

Left him at large to his own dark designs,

That with reiterated crimes he might

Heap on himself damnation, while he sought

Evil to others, and enrag'd might see

How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth

Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn

On Man by him seduc't, but on himself

Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.

Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool

His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames

Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld

In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.

Then with expanded wings he stears his flight

Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air

That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land

He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd

With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;

And such appear'd in hue, as when the force

Of subterranean wind transports a Hill

Torn from PELORUS, or the shatter'd side

Of thundring AETNA, whose combustible

And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,

Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,

And leave a singed bottom all involv'd

With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole

Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate,

Both glorying to have scap't the STYGIAN flood

As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength,

Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,

Said then the lost Arch Angel, this the seat

That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom

For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee

Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid

What shall be right: fardest from him is best

Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream

Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields

Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail

Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell

Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings

A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.


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What people think about Paradise Lost

1733 ratings / 39 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    This was very powerful. I am not the most religious person in the world, but I found the subject matter intensely interesting. The poetic beauty of Milton words captivated me throughout the course of the work. Sadly, I tried "Paradise Regained" but I did not get far into the read before I became disinterested. I guess we are fascinated more by evil than goodness. Sad. I may retry "Paradise Regained" but I fail to see how it can be as moving as "Paradise Lost."
  • (5/5)
    There's all this debate over why Satan is so appealing in Paradise Lost. Did Milton screw up? Is he being cynical, or a double-secret atheist? And why is God such a dick?

    No one ever asks that about Iago, though, to whom I think Milton's Satan owes a debt. No one asks whether Shakespeare screwed up in making Iago so much fun; they just give him credit for, y'know, writing an awesome villain. And that's all Milton's doing. Satan is tempting for us because Satan is tempting for us. That's the point of Satan! If Milton didn't make him as appealing as possible, he'd be doing Satan a disservice. And Eve, for that matter.

    Similarly, God's a dick because God's a dick. You've read the Old Testament. He's not exactly all flowers and hugs there either. Again, Milton's just being true to his characters, and writing a great story while he's at it.

    There’s slightly more to it than that, yeah. For example: it's hinted, albeit obtusely, that God sets Satan up to fall. He gives a stern warning that anyone who disobeys him or his son will be cast out of Heaven. But since there's no sin or evil at the time of his speech, why give the warning? Isn't that like saying "Don't touch these cookies while I'm gone" to a kid who didn't realize there were cookies until you pointed them out? I get why people spend their entire careers arguing over this thing.

    Here’s my advice to people considering reading Paradise Lost: read the first two books. It starts with a bang, and it’s pretty amazing for a while. It slows down a bit in books III - VII, so if you’re not totally sold in the first two books (I was), you can either quit altogether with a fair idea of what Milton sounds like, or skip to books IX and X. IX is the actual temptation and fall (especially fun if you’re a misogynist), and X is an astonishing sequence where Adam and Eve contemplate suicide:

    "Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened out
    To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet
    Mortality my sentence...
    his dreadful voice no more
    Would thunder in my ears." (Adam, X.774 - 780)

    “We’ve totally mucked this up, and our kids are gonna justifiably hate us because we got kicked out of Paradise, and maybe we should just quit while we’re behind.”

    But really, the whole thing is worth it. Took me a while – it’s intense stuff, so I found that I had to read a book and then chew on it for a while to process it before moving to the next one – but it’s cool.

    In book VIII, if you’re cosmologically minded, Milton lays out the whole universe. Like Giordano Bruno, he understands that our earth is a tiny speck in the universe, and he gets that all the stars are suns like ours, and therefore could have planets like ours around them. He also thinks they might be inhabited; our species might not be God's only experiment. Elsewhere, other Adams and Eves may have faced the same test of the Tree of Knowledge - and they might have passed it. Isn't that an amazing thought?

    In books XI and XII, Michael tells Adam sortof all the rest of the stories in the Old Testament, which of course boil down to:

    “So shall the world go on,
    To good malignant, to bad men benign,
    Under her own weight groaning.” (XII 537 – 539)

    That’s your fault there, Adam. Nice work.

    He rushes through them though, and it makes me wonder whether Milton had originally intended to retell the entire Old Testament but got bored or intimidated or something. That would’ve been remarkable. Certainly Paradise Lost is better literature than the Old Testament is, and significantly more coherent.

    It’s also better literature than almost everything else. It’s pretty awesome. Probably the second-best poem by a blind guy ever. I give it two thumbs up.
  • (3/5)
    I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but this telling of the creation and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise was entertaining even though the writing was a bit different from what I am used to.I found it amusing that according to Milton Sin and Death were the offspring of Satan and that Chaos' consort is Night with Confusion and Discord along for the ride.The manner of using words as names for creatures was very inventive.Rarely, do I like Classics this old, but this one worked f or me.
  • (4/5)
    Formidabel kosmisch epos, met vooral in de eerste helft grote scheppende kracht, maar daarna “verworden” tot een uitgebreide navertelling van Genesis. Nochtans zijn de delen over het scheppingverhaal en de menselijke zondeval (vooral de interactie tussen Adam en Eva is meest poëtisch). Weinig actie, behalve in de strijdtaferelen, de tweede helft is vooral verhalend
  • (5/5)
    Quite a read for a poet! My first journey with an epic poem in its entirety, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Too many lines of good verses to name--phrases that inspired me for their deft command of language--and a great amount of passages that left me feeling triumphant. One of the simplest lines I liked the most, spoken to the Son: "Two days are therefore pass'd, the third is thine"; and a favorite passage, sung to the Creator: "Who seeks To lessen thee, against his purpose serves To manifest the more thy might: his evil Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good."I was impressed with what creativity the characters' experiences and emotions were developed. Story-wise, my favorite character is the Son, the unmatched warrior amid all the hosts of heaven who compassionately serves as intercessor for fallen humankind. This classic presents a challenge to me, both as a poet and as a novelist.
  • (5/5)
    A grand sprawling epic. I can't possibly say anything good about it that has not already been repeated.

    I am fortunate enough to have a brand new edition with lots of annotations and references. Layers upon layers of allegory and myth and history and religion and fable. Deserves infinite rereadings.
  • (5/5)
    Milton cria um diabo carismático e persuasivo, que clama: "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven".
  • (4/5)
     This was somewhat slow going, but worth the effort to persevere with it. I had the oxford Classics verison, which phas an essay at the beginning to put the poem into context, which was helpful. it also had footnotes for references in the text to classical legends and diffiocult worrds or phrasings, which was very useful!

    The text concerns the biblical acocunt of creaction and the expulsion of Adam & Eve from paradise - hence the title. Regardless of if you believe, it makes for a really good read, but takes a little effort to get into it each time. The text has a hypnotic flow and rhythm to it. Tthe language is sometimes a little obscure, but not excessively so, it isn't like every line requires serious explanation. There are also a large number of legends worked into the text, all building this into a complex mass of intertwined threads, rather than a straightforward retelling of the same story. It is also one of those works that you realise has been referenced in other books you've read - the number of times I found myself thinking "I've read something like that before" and realising that it was a reference to Milton that I'd not known at the time. It was excellent, but I'm going for something a little lighter next time!
  • (4/5)
    I expected to have more trouble reading Milton's Paradise Lost than I actually did, mostly because it's written in blank verse. As a matter of fact, that didn't matter much. It flows wonderfully and it's great to read aloud. The rhythms and the way the words were strung together were just lovely -- my synaesthesia just pretty much regarded it as a feast! I also enjoyed the classical sort of structure, which reminded me of the Aeneid.

    I didn't so much enjoy the characterisation of Eve or the angels, and it doesn't fit with my view of Christianity, but that didn't keep from enjoying reading it.
  • (4/5)
    We had read selections of this book in my AP Lit class in high school, but as always, selections don't tell the whole story. I love reading religious literature, and this being one of the most famous epic poems in that genre, I quite enjoyed it. As an interesting aside, I did, however, find Lucifer/Satan to be far more sympathetic than he comes across in the Bible. I don't know if this was intentional on Milton's part, or simply something that was a result of describing his motivations.
  • (5/5)
    This epic poem is stunning; a magnificent read all the way. I loved it.
  • (4/5)
    I'd be lying if I said I understood and enjoyed every word of Paradise Lost, but there's no getting around the fact that it's beautiful and terrifying and provoking. It's definitely a book that requires many rereadings.
  • (5/5)
    I originally read this in response to finishing The Golden Compass series. Pullman spoke about Paradise Lost as one of the main inspirations for some of his thinking. Though I did study literature, I never had any intention of reading this work. I am so glad that I did. There are lines in there that move the heart and mind of course, the imagery gave me bad dreams, and it the experience is something that I will keep forever.Talk about closure, the last lines gave me so much hope and made me feel electric.
  • (5/5)
    I read this many years ago and thought that it was actually a very fascinating read compared to other literature of its day. I loved the style and language in which it was written, and I think that makes me enjoy it all the more. I am sure that I will read it again very soon.
  • (4/5)
    Although this is not a light read and will require thought and maybe some research (on my part at least) to fully understand milton's meanings, this book is at very least profound. Milton's writing style has yet to be matched by any I've seen.
  • (5/5)
    How can I even write a review of John Milton and perhaps one of the ultimate works in the English language? You don’t. I’ll only say that after completing “Paradise Lost,” I wrote a huge amount of discordant information in my personal journal and reread enormous sections of the book. The introduction and notation provided in the Barnes & Noble edition of “Paradise Lost” by David Hawkes was invaluable to my enjoyment and understanding. And the ending comments provided in this edition from such noted authors as Thomas Gray, William Blake and Wordsworth brought about a level of appreciation and understanding I did not anticipate.
  • (4/5)
    Seeing as I took a class - an entire class, an entire semester dedicated to the reading of this single novel, I was praying I was going to enjoy it. And what heavy metal fan couldn't enjoy the battle of God vs. Satan? The fall of Satan from heaven is a brilliantly written tale and there is so much meaning within every stanza of this epic book. There has to be, I spent 3 months reading it and I think I even got a B in this class.
  • (4/5)
    Milton gets extra points for scope and ambition, but I have to admit that he tends toward the preachy (rather than allowing his characters to illustrate their own morals), plus some of his theology struck me as a bit simple-minded. That said, the descriptions of hell remain both beautiful and terrible -- unparalleled in the English language.
  • (5/5)
    Certainly one of the best poems ever written in English!
  • (5/5)
    This one definitely makes the short list of must reads. It's great poetry and I enjoyed the effect of its having originally been in English. It's also a great interpretation of the creation story; I observed a number of new ideas as well as some that I myself have posited and refuted. More than anything else I've read, Milton does a superb job of bringing out the essence of the situation, the passions that were felt, and the reason for each event.
  • (2/5)
    I read this in college and really enjoyed it. But, I think that was because I had a wonderful professor who loved Milton and her energy was infectious. Reading it now, I found it very misogynistic. The poetry was beautiful and I enjoyed the metaphors, but I couldn't take Milton's contempt against women very easily. Oh well, I guess I won't be continuing on with Paradise Regained.
  • (4/5)
    Okay, I only read part of it, and it was for college. It was incredibly well written and entertaining. My only issue is the complete lack of biblical credibility. It's LOOSELY based on the three little chapters that it covers in the Bible and takes A LOT of artistic license. In doing so, it tells a few outright lies.

    I take comfort in that I doubt anyone takes their biblical knowledge from it.
  • (4/5)
    The parts I understood were lovely, lol.
  • (4/5)
    Milton wrote a great poem but it's also a byproduct of its day - 1667 - and he views events and characters very much through the male gaze; as do all organized religions and which the poem references. Thus, the apple on the tree of knowledge was (imo) something a religious-minded white Portuguese male would regard as sinful. As it stands, the sin no longer applies. It is 2005, eating the apple amounts to doing just that; eating an apple. Unless you have the apple representing something else, i.e., update the sin attached to it. What if it the apple was meant to test the consequence of giving Adam and Eve free will? See what they'd do with it? It's almost as if Satan was allowed to escape hell because it was part of God's bigger plan. Of course - so that man could LOVE God of his own free will. Even the simple act of eating does of course symbolise our interactivity, our symbiosis, with nature - that in itself bears a responsibility. So, the apple was an interface in a way between mankind abnegating responsibility to God's will and being participatory in it instead. That's Evolution! Moral certainty of sin/grace evolved too - quite rightly into today's concept of contingency and context.In my book Milton is the main man, the Yeats of his day, but with a much less comedic outcome and overall strike rate of gags. Cromwell’s PR man and a life spiralling out of control, the linguistic mouthpiece for himself first and discovered deeper than anyone sane person would hope to emulate or seriously hope to outlive as a narrative of reality the fates allotted exquisitely and which has long been understood in the brythonic tradition, that each life is unique and a poem in itself. Milton went blind, the cruelest fate but one which propelled him to the highest ridge of poetic attainment, forged in the turbulent bloodletting in which his first robust roar for himself first as the poet of a revolution; like Mayakovsky, fate put him in a certain space and time and he surrendered to the powerful spiritual combination of his intellect and passion, and it is befitting, though entirely tragic, that the first seriously poetic cornerstone figure whose gravitas came from the real life antics his person was part and often a central linguistic force affecting not to mirror as the Luna light of William Shakespeare did in far less personally turbulent times when he struck the primary metrical coinage of modern English bardic lore; but acting as the show and pazzaz, the me, me, me of being needy, very clever, broke the mould and everyone since conspires to make the best of a poor do with this chap, who let's face it, we read far less of than beyond a few verses before switching off, knowing we are being offered caviar, but preferring instead the real staple of British poetic. Rustics we are, as well as morons clotted whimsies, we indulge in because intellectually, we are all “me arse”, and as Graves said, admitting Milton is the British genius, should not blind us to the basic error which is the very grain, grease and premise of poetry, the binary opposite set of circumstance and premise which create the journey and object of linguistic artifice we call poetry.And Milton discovered it at a terrible cost of a new national poetic born in less than charitable times, a most intellectually fascinating, but less natural than Shakespeare; he’s a great source of refuge for the fire and brimstone mobs; one can imagine his frenzies fed to direct action, like Cromwell, possessed by a warp spasm of uncontrollable madness when the Muse was in full flight, inventing the terrors only too, too real, and so Milton is extremely strong proof, best for whipping one's rabble into shape with him and Cromwell, two very divisive national martyrs who have a high regard domestically but globally are seen as fundamentally flawed perhaps; life's too short for taking on Milton in one mad binge, and really one needs next to none of him, as he cannot be cooked up to offer us anything other than mad loathing and foaming, a terrible wisdom bought at horrific cost, and after him the artificial decorum of the new bores in the coffee shops which exploded in 18th Century London, where Horribles got together and bitched, the blind leading the suicidal bad vibe, which I think it is fair to say, is essentially, supremely competitive.Please adopt me as your protégé Milton; I want to carry the rumens' flame to the next generation of young poets seeking to set out into the treacherous straits of amateur verse, just how to set about switching over to be a pro, to attain that gravitas only our most ennobling examples of savvy exotica we concoct in the thoroughly unpleasant and incredibly jealous septic tank heritage Milton and various other chaps had no fun inventing.NB: My wife and I once saw a dramatisation of “Paradise Lost”. In the first, before the Fall scenes, Adam and Eve were completely naked in the Garden of Eden and, no doubt as a result of their cuddling, Adam soon got rather a splendid but no doubt unwanted, erection. This distraction was, as I pointed out to my wife, sadly appropriate since the early Christian church maintained that before the Fall, Adam was able to control his penis at will. This postlapsarian actor, of course, could not.
  • (4/5)
    I have been wanting/intending to read this for a long time. I don't think I was ever required to read it in school other than maybe some small excerpts. I've always enjoyed epic poetry like this and found Milton's imagery and language exceptional. On the down side, I was struck by his negative portrayal of Eve (Adam, of course, was pure as the driven snow until he ate the apple just to please her) and her exclusion from many of the scenes highlighted Milton's patriarchal bias.Aesthetically, this edition by the Folio Society is awesome. Blake's illustrations are magnificent and the layout and design of the edition is impressive. The choice of font and it's size makes it much easier for me to read then when I attempt to read a long poem like this stuffed into small print.
  • (4/5)
    Another one of those freshman English assigments I cribbed my way through. When I reread it finally as an adult I was astonished. I returned to it because of Mike Carey's Lucifer and Steven Brust's To Reign in Hell, contemporary fantasy on the same themes. And I was surprised and delighted to find depth of character and excitement in a Stuffy Old Classic.
  • (5/5)
    As this was my first epic read, I cannot profess to be well-trained as to the vastness of other works, but the beauty of this work lies in its broad overview of Scripture, character, and life. Not merely striking the main points of Eden, as I was expecting, but surveying large portions of history. It felt huge without being overly laborious to read.The wording was not nearly as stilted as I was lead to believe it would be, though at times the footnotes were indispensable--I am still rather ignorant of many of his references.A wonderful work that I hope to reread in time.
  • (3/5)
    A 17th century epic of the Genesis account with references to classical mythology throughout. From the beginning formations of the earth to the design of paradise to the creation of Adam and Eve to the Fall. The idea behind the verse is that paradise is lost but hope still remains through Christ who will save the offspring of our first parents who sinned. Adam is shown a vision when his hope is diminished that encompasses all of humanity from Noah to Abraham to Joseph of Egypt to David and up through Christ’s birth and death. The world is corrupt but there is hope for all in the end. Very difficult but interesting to read; there are notes to help through all the references to the mythology and other passages that we today are unfamiliar with.
  • (5/5)
    This book was fantastic, but wasn't quite as good as Dante's work. Still, one of my favorites.
  • (3/5)
    Even though I don't hold with religious belief, that didn't stop me from adoring Dante's Divine Comedy and I've loved Homer's epic poems. Yet I can't say that Milton's Paradise Lost spoke to me. Much of the poem felt repetitive and bloated with discourses on such matters as heliocentric theory. His recapitulation of Genesis is part plagiarism, part bizarre twisting. (Among other things, according to Milton, "God the Son" who would become Jesus was really the Creator.) Unlike Dante, who never lost the human even when dealing with the divine, in Paradise Lost so much is focused on God, Satan, and their angelic allies. Only Adam and Eve are human--and the depiction of Eve gave me no end of problems. And unlike others Milton is compared to such as Homer, Dante, Chaucer and Shakespeare, if Milton has a sense of humor, I completely missed it.I did recognize passages of beauty and grandeur in Paradise Lost, but rather disconcertingly they were almost always spoken by Satan. "The Mind is its own place and itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." Ironically, according to the introduction to the edition I read, Milton was himself a rebel. He supported Cromwell's republic which executed a anointed monarch and argued against censorship in his treatise Areopagitica. It seems incongruous that in Paradise Lost he seeks to "justify the ways of God to men" by making disobedience and a desire for knowledge the root of all evil. So maybe it's not that surprising that Romantics such as Shelley and Blake would see Satan as the hero of Milton's epic. Especially since Milton's God has all the hallmarks of a despot. Milton describes God as a "sov'reign King;" the purpose of angels and humans is to praise (flatter) him, he's arbitrary, capricious and rigid in his commands, jealous of his power, willing to sacrifice others for his ends and decrees "torture without end."I found it hard not to gag at the depiction of Eve from the start who says to Adam, "God is thy law, thou mine." It's not all negative. It's through Eve that Milton depicts humans arriving at self-awareness and Milton is sex positive. He insists the unFallen Adam and Eve had sex for instance and he supports marriage. But Milton emphasizes Eve's subordination, inferiority and centrality to the human tragedy throughout. Says Adam:Of Nature her the inferior, in the mindAnd inward faculties, which most excel;In outward also her resembling lessHis image who made both, and less expressingThe character of that dominion givenO'er other creatures. God sends a warning through the Angel Raphael to Adam--not Eve--merely telling him "to warn thy weaker." Eve succumbs because of flattery and vanity. Adam disobeys God out of love, joining her in sin because he fears otherwise they'd be divided. So woman is weak in herself--man only if and when he's weakened by woman. "Sin" is also female with parallels to Eve--a grotesque demoness who is the daughter of Satan and through an incestuous union with him the mother of Death. Both Sin and Eve are in league with Satan and bring death into creation.Unlike the case with Homer, I can't blame an initial negative reaction to Milton as the result of being forced to read him in school, a lack of maturity or a bad translation. Milton wrote in English and I've read Paradise Lost only recently for the first time. However, Milton greatly influenced the Romantic poets and even how many Christians see the story of Adam and Eve and Satan. Because of that I'm glad I read the poem and do encourage others to read it. Besides the glints of beauty, many of Milton's religious views are, well, unique. The glimpse of his political views are interesting too--almost libertarian.He gave us only over Beast, Fish, FowlDominion absolute; that right we holdBy his donation; but Man over menHe made not Lord; such title to himselfReserving, human left from human free.Nevertheless, unlike Homer or Dante, I can't by any means see Paradise Lost as a favorite or a work I'd ever reread nor am I tempted to read the sequel, Paradise Regained.