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, consists of ten books with more than ten thousand verses. A second edition followed in 1674, organized into twelve books (after the manner of Virgil’s Aeneid) with minor revisions. It is considered Milton’s masterpiece and helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of all time. The poem deals with the biblical story of the fall of man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and his expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
|Type||Poetry, Epic poetry, Epic|
|Year of Publication||1667|
|Number of Pages||253|
Paradise Lost Summary
John Milton’s 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 rages across three worlds – heaven, hell, and earth – as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, who are motivated by all too human temptations but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Marked by Milton’s characteristic erudition, Paradise Lost is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years, it has held generation upon generation of audiences in rapt attention, and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.
Paradise Lost Review
In Paradise Lost, Milton produced a poem of epic scale, evoking a vast and impressive cosmos and stretching across enormous expanses of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques. And yet, by putting a charismatic Satan and naked, innocent Adam and Eve at the center of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy about the Fall of Man.
Written when Milton was in his fifties—blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration, and in danger of execution—Paradise Lost’s apparent ambivalence toward authority has led to intense debate over whether it manages to “justify the ways of God before men.” “, or exposes The Cruelty of Christianity.
About the Author
John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English Revolution both in English and Latin – and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his life by publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.