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Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics Series) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Mar 2000


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140424261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140424263
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 634,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob on 3 Dec. 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
John Milton's epic tale that aimed to "justify the ways of God to man" written at the end of his life when he was embittered by the loss of his sight in service of the Commonwealth which he felt had been betrayed by the English people and their reinstatement of Charles II as the king of England.
The book details Satan's escape from Hell and his temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden. At once heroic and even occasionally sympathetic the descriptions of Satan's exploits are marvelous examples of poetic genious. Milton also addresses the question of how Eve falls if she is perfect (as God created her) without prtraying her as vain or self obsessed as many artists have done (since these traits are those of a fallen human not a perfect one).
This book is a must, enjoyable for anyone with an interest in reading good challenging literature, and giving the reader an insight into the complicated issues that have troubled religious thinkers through the ages. On top of it all it is a cracking read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Erin von Thum on 29 April 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A wonderful read, not because it was edited by my FAVOURITE english prof, but because it rocks. You're in for a treat. Too bad you don't get to have Prof. Leonard teach it to you in person. Please do read it, Milton is fantastic!!!
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful By jenntarr@cwcom.net on 24 Jan. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like well written pieces of literature that are entertaining and informative then this is somthing you have to read its a simple as that
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Amazon.com: 11 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Our Fall from Innocence 15 Aug. 2002
By Delphi Classics - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Milton's great epic poem was written "to justify the ways of God to men", thus telling the story of Lucifer's expulsion from Heaven and Adam's subsequent banishment from Eden. The classic representations of idyllic Eden, fiery Hell, and glorious Heaven are as rich now as when they were first created in 1667.
Paradise Lost is a very complicated, yet rewarding, Epic poem. It is by far the best of its kind in the English language, and where it lacks in original conventions, it more than makes up for it in its pure power of poetry. For those readers of translations who are unable to enjoy Homer's Greek, Virgil's Latin or Dante's Italian, Paradise Lost can offer them a unique chance to enjoy an epic poem in its original vernacular.
However, you must bear in mind that Paradise Lost is one of the most difficult pieces of poetry to read, and is by no means as simple as reading a translation of Homer or Virgil. The language is lexically dense, with complex grammar structures at times. These hurdles will be found considerably easier for experienced readers of Shakespeare, and those who are already aware of common traits of epic poetry.
Milton's use of language is majestic, boasting an impressive metre. The poem is lavished with many famous quotes that have become ingrained into everyday English, with such examples as "Pandemonium" and "All hell broke loose". Paradise Lost is, without a doubt, a must read for any intellectual English reader.
Like all epic poetry Milton's piece of art is highly indebted to Homer's conventions, with typical imitations of the Iliad's list of warriors and the Odyssey's garden of Alcinous. But Milton's debt to the Classics manifests itself as a representation of learned study, (with links to such writers as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Shakespeare and Spenser), therefore it does not so much as pilfer from great literature, as it instead endeavours to become a part of it.
Paradise Lost offers the epic reader a new form of subject, not just the usual heroes and large battles, but a theme which captivates the reader - the devils fall and man's respectively. The rebel Angels' descent from heaven to hell and Adam's from Eden to a desolate "outside" world, captivate the reader with an intriguing theme: the loss of innocence and the fall into experience. Why must Man sin? What is his relationship to Satan's loss of grace? And where does God's image of himself measure with his own maker? Milton's poem may lack the great Achilles and the gleaming towers of Troy, but it does offer much intellectual food for thought.
This Penguin edition is a rare find of value for money, it is not particlularly inexpensive, but come on ... please bear in mind the tiny price tag on this book - for less than half the price of a DVD you can own the English language's greatest poetic feat!
It is the Miltonic Satan that really comes to the forefront of this poem. The cunning fallen angel, who decides that "All good to me is lost; Evil, be thou my Good" (IV.109-10), is as appealing to the reader as Marlowe's "Nun-poisoning" Barabas the Jew. It is with some guilt that this present commentator must own to rooting for this most infamous baddy throughout the poem. With a display of wit almost as sharp as Ovid or Nonnos, Milton indisputably gives his best lines to God's antagonist. This Devil is not just a superficial evil being, but instead a complex character; one that feels remorse for his fall, love for his close friends, and a harrowing jealousy of Man. What we are given by Milton's villain is not just a rewarding psychological study of Christianity's Devil, but also a commentary upon our own ignoble actions.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
See the fall from Hell's perspective 29 May 2003
By Jack Lamont - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1667, blind, thought to be at the end of his life, Milton composed one of the greatest epics in the English language. Much debated, much imitated, there no epics yet written that have equaled Paradise Lost. Milton wrote in blank verse (poetry without rhyme)that continues to amaze readers with his grasp of what the English language could do; only Shakespeare had a keener grasp.
Divided in to twelve books, Paradise Lost starts off showing us a vision of hell quite different of Dante's in that Hell is described not so much a place but an environment one's self creates.("The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.)Throughout the first four books we see the fall, Heaven, Hell, all through Satan's perspective. The last eight books are centered on the parents of mankind Adam and Eve. Reader may find their own intentions and philosophies on life brought to the surface in reading this book; look to finding which side one sympathizes with: Heaven, Hell, or Adam and Eve? Milton shows his genius in getting each side's thought processes to the forefront. I remember in book X relating with Adam and Eve in their debate following the fall.
Readers may find the language difficult, but if they have prepared themselves by reading a little of Shakespeare and a little of John Donne, it will be considerably easier. Don't allow the language to daunt you, it's worth it!
As to which edition to buy, you have two options: if you're poor, (like me) you'll probably want to go with the Penguin edition; it has good notes, and the introduction is okay. If you have a bit more cash on you go with the Norton Critical Edition edited by Scott Elledge; it has excellent notes, and includes a wide body of analysis on Milton by many different authors.
It's been a long time since I have come across a book that speaks to me so deeply. I will probably read this several more times. I recommend this to all readers that have the courage to plunge headlong into seventeenth century prose.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Heaven and Hell 18 Mar. 2003
By bixodoido - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is impossible to rate a classic like this. This epic poem about the Garden of Eden spans everything from the Creation of the world to the war in Heaven to Satan's fall into Hell, and also touches on the entire history of Israel. The poem is absolutely beautiful, and Adam and Eve are presented in such a way as to seem truly innocent before the fall and prone to sin after the fall (though they are also much wiser). Everything, from Satan's temptation to Adam and Eve being consumed by lust immediately after eating the fruit, is portrayed in a very remarkable and real way.

This work is supremely enlightening, especially for Christian readers. Milton retains a touch of Classical mythology, yet integrates it in such a way as to fit into the Christian story. With this poem, Milton successfully equated himself with such masters of the epic as Homer and Virgil (which was his aim, as declared in book one). I cannot praise this epic or its sublime effect enough , so I will content myself by saying that this is one poem that everyone should read, for both its scholarly and its religious value.
"The Mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n" (book 1, 254-255)
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
My Favorite Epic Poem 16 Oct. 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Paradise Lost" is simply one of the most beautiful poems ever written. Milton's descriptions are so filled with color and emotion that I felt like I could see this celestial event taking place in front of me. "Paradise Lost" is the story of Satan's fall from grace, God's subsequent creation of Earth and Man, and Satan's deadly corruption of God's masterpiece. Not only was Milton's writing so legendary but his respect for Scripture was equally admirable.
"Paradise Lost" is a foundational work of Western Culture that should be read by every western citizen, if only for the finale in which Adam is taken up a hill near Eden by Michael, the arch-angel, and shown the future of the world. Standing there he sees the world with a view that modern man loves to deny:
"...I had hope/When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,/All would have gon well, peace would have crownd/With length of happy dayes the race of man;/But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see/Peace to corrupt no less than Warr to waste."
While this scene is a fictional scenario, it is an ingenius way for Milton to not only express the despair and guilt that Adam must have felt, but to tell the reader of the Hope that God would restore to Adam's race through His Son. This is the theme of Milton's wonderful poem.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful reprint of a Classic 21 Dec. 2000
By Fly Molo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
John Leonard's introduction was very insightful and one of the better ones for Paradise Lost that I have come across. The text is crisp and is easy to go through unlike many other versions that have annoying notes that inhibit the flow of the poem. The book in its self is by far one of the best classics and is extremely well written. I feel it is a book people of all faiths should read and not just once for I have gained insight on my own beliefs each time I come back to it. I suggest to readers of all ages to buy this version and to engross themselves with a timeless masterpiece.
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