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Paradise Lost is one of the greatest works of the human imagination. There is no need to review it as if by a casual reading I could critique it properly.
But the text is so different from contemporary literature that I can provide some context so that the potential reader will know what to expect.
Ever since the writing down of the Iliad and Odyssey, artists have striven to mimic its form and attain its stature. Most famously, Virgil was commissioned by Augustus to write the Aeneid so that Rome would have a national epic like the Greeks.
If you’ve read either the Iliad, Odyssey or Aeneid, or even some of the lesser epics of antiquity, you are well prepared to read Paradise Lost. It’s basically the casting of the story of creation found in the Bible into the epic genre.
Why did Milton want to do this? It may be pure speculation but perhaps he wanted to write an epic narrative to ground his vision of an English Protestant Commonwealth as Virgil did for pagan Rome.
What I can say as critique is that, at least compared to translations of Homer and Virgil, Milton possessed the artistry to imitate the masters.
In short, if you like the epic genre, whether or not you are particularly interested in Biblical mythology, you will enjoy Paradise Lost. Those interested in the pure religious content should rather consult a good commentary on the Bible.
About the book paradise lost epub
Milton’s “Paradise Lost” is considered to be one of the most classic epic poems ever written. It is a retelling of the biblical story of the Genesis of man, of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and of how Eve when tempted by Satan disobeyed God and ate from the tree of knowledge. Written in 1667 by the English Poet John Milton, “Paradise Lost” is a poetic and intriguing interpretation of ancient biblical legend.
About the Author
John Milton (December 9, 1608 – November 8, 1674) was an English poet, prose polemicist, and civil servant for the English Commonwealth. Most famed for his epic poem Paradise Lost, Milton is celebrated as well for his eloquent treatise condemning censorship, Areopagitica. Long considered the supreme English poet, Milton experienced a dip in popularity after attacks by T.S. Eliot and F.R. Leavis in the mid 20th century; but with multiple societies and scholarly journals devoted to his study, Milton’s reputation remains as strong as ever in the 21st century. Very soon after his death – and continuing to the present day – Milton became the subject of partisan biographies, confirming T.S. Eliot’s belief that “of no other poet is it so difficult to consider the poetry simply as poetry, without our theological and political dispositions…making unlawful entry.” Milton’s radical, republican politics and heretical religious views, coupled with the perceived artificiality of his complicated Latinate verse, alienated Eliot and other readers; yet by dint of the overriding influence of his poetry and personality on subsequent generations–particularly the Romantic movement–the man whom Samuel Johnson disparaged as “an acrimonious and surly republican” must be counted one of the most significant writers and thinkers of all time.