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Paradise Lost [Norton Critical Edition] (1667)

de John Milton

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Epic poem describing the creation and the Fall of Man, debating free will, obedience, forbidden knowledge, love, evil, and guilt.
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John Milton composed this masterpiece while he was going blind. It makes me think that I can do more with my life than sit around and read books.

Anyway, we all know the basic premise, right? Satan, after his defeat by the armies of Heaven, is sent to the deepest reaches of Hell as punishment for his transgressions. So Satan begins to adjust to his new accommodations and attempts to leave Hell so that he may spite Old-Man God. What better way to do that than to tempt his newest and most favored creations? Satan is a really interesting character in this work and has a number of characteristics that make him fascinating. So, Satan causes the Fall of Man, but God takes all this in stride and the Son of God goes and says he will take up the sins of mankind.

This is the basic story, but it is all in a certain type of prose that might make it easier to listen to rather than to read on the first pass through it. So I recommend an audiobook version, but I have no idea if they even make one for that. Heck, I don't know, they might. According to the footnotes, the rhythm, the pronunciation, and the number of syllables have to be correct to get the full experience.

This particular version of the book contains a number of extras related to Paradise Lost. The main story only occupies about half of the book. The rest is taken up by criticism, excerpts from the Bible in the King James Version, and another work by Milton in its entirety. All of this expands on the work to make it more lucid to a new reader. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Paradise Lost by John Milton is a veritable landmark book within the chronicles of humanity’s past.

Milton’s imagination was as boundless as it was incisive, and he paints a masterful world in which good and evil battle for the fate of the world.

Undoubtedly one of the best epics of all-time, Milton’s Paradise Lost, features a plethora of allusions the likes of which haven’t been replicated since, and just might not be replicated ever.

Milton’s constant inferences to theological and classical underpinnings of society are one of the greatest components of this masterpiece. Every line is incisively thought out, and weaves seamlessly into the next manifesting a masterpiece of literature that’s as thought-provoking as it is deep.

The diction used in Milton’s time might be something that could turn certain readers off, but the notations at the bottom of each page of this particular version help the reader traverse through this fascinating and fierce fictional world that Milton crafted rather seamlessly.

Admittedly, an epic like this will demand a lot from the reader, and rightly so. It’s a quintessential milestone in history.

Given the complex range of characters it employs [Adam, Eve, Satan, God, Michael, etc.] and fuses with philosophical underpinnings of what many of humanity’s deeper yearnings and concerns are, only helps catapult this work beyond the rest in its field.

Ruminating upon its breadth, scope and complexity, it’s a pity that more works aren’t as well thought out as this. The standards Milton set upon himself to accomplish this piece should be held in high respect, for it is a testament to what human creativity can achieve when it sets its mind to it. And that is priceless, just like this book is. ( )
  ZyPhReX | Feb 13, 2017 |
Books 3, 9-12 are brilliant. This book challenged me and helped me gain maturity as a reader. Even if I read it six more times there would be still so much I wouldn't understand. John Milton (with help from the Holy Spirit) writes an epic poem that stands with the great epic poems of history. This epic poem takes you through the fall of the angels, the fall of man and God's great plan to rescue humanity through the voluntary sacrifice of His Son. This poem does well to illustrate that God is good. His plans are good. Humans turned from God toward Sin. We are depraved and in need of Jesus. I would like to read Paradise Regained some day. ( )
  erinjamieson | Jan 3, 2013 |
I don’t think I “understood” it any better than I did the first time I read it seven years ago. That time, I was discussing it in a classroom. This time, I read it for enjoyment. Or at least I tried to.

For me, Paradise Lost was about obedience, choice, and consequence. Everything in the poem seems to revolve around laws and the consequences for disobeying them, as well as the wonderful example of human autonomy. First Satan, and then Eve and Adam made choices. Satan’s choice (rebelling against God) caused him to be cast out of heaven; Eve and Adam’s choice required that they leave paradise.

Whether or not Milton succeeded in echoing my own understandings or in justifying God’s ways, what I got out of Paradise Lost overall is a sense of overwhelming need to reread complicated things. I didn’t reread this since I sat down to write these thoughts, and my first read was so long ago (seven years maybe?) that it seems a vague memory. I feel like I need to reread Paradise Lost a number of times in order to properly respond to it. And I suspect I’ll read it again. It could bear rereading every few years.

More thoughts on my blog
  rebeccareid | Jun 24, 2011 |
The shortest answer is: John Milton was a poetic genius. PL is so beautiful, you can't help but feel for Adam and Eve. Even Satan is a great character - he so wants to be an epic hero. This poem is a masterpiece, and he wrote it completely blind. Beautiful, absolutely amazing. ( )
1 vota VivalaErin | Apr 21, 2010 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Miltonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Adams, Robert M.Col·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Arnold, MatthewCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Blake, WilliamCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bloom, HaroldCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Coleridge, Samuel TaylorCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dryden, JohnCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Elledge, ScottEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Empson, WilliamCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fish, Stanley EugeneCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Frye, NorthropCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Halley, Janet E.Col·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hill, ChristopherCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Johnson, SamuelCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Keats, JohnCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Kermode, FrankCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Landor, Walter SavageCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lewalski, BarbaraCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ricks, ChristopherCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tennyson, AlfredCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Teskey, GordonEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Turner, James GranthamCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Voltaire, FrancoisCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Woolf, VirginiaCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wordsworth, WilliamCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
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, Heavenly 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 heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
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Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp.
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Series fields.
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Epic poem describing the creation and the Fall of Man, debating free will, obedience, forbidden knowledge, love, evil, and guilt.

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