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Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 27 Feb 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 191 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (27 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140424393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140424393
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"In this landmark edition, teachers will discover a powerful ally in bringing the excitement of Milton's poetry and prose to new generations of students."--William C. Dowling, Rutgers University
"This magnificent edition gives us everything we need to read Milton intelligently and with fresh perception."--William H. Pritchard, Amherst College

In this landmark edition, teachers will discover a powerful ally in bringing the excitement of Milton s poetry and prose to new generations of students. William C. Dowling, Rutgers University
This magnificent edition gives us everything we need to read Milton intelligently and with fresh perception. William H. Pritchard, Amherst College"

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 lifeby 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.
John Leonard is a Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.


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Customer Reviews

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By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 27 May 2005
Format: Paperback
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 on greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat
Sing, Heavenly Muse...
Not a lot people know that 'Paradise Lost' has as a much lesser known companion piece 'Paradise Regained'; of course, it was true during Milton's time as it is today that the more harrowing and juicy the story, the better it will likely be remembered and received.
This is not to cast any aspersion on this great poem, however. It has been called, with some justification, the greatest English epic poem. The line above, the first lines of the first book of the poem, is typical of the style throughout the epic, in vocabulary and syntax, in allusiveness. The word order tends toward the Latinate, with the object coming first and the verb coming after.
Milton follows many classical examples by personifying characters such as Death, Chaos, Mammon, and Sin. These characters interact with the more traditional Christian characters of Adam, Eve, Satan, various angels, and God. He takes as his basis the basic biblical text of the creation and fall of humanity (thus, 'Paradise Lost'), which has taken such hold in the English-speaking world that many images have attained in the popular mind an almost biblical truth to them (in much the same way that popular images of Hell owe much to Dante's Inferno). The text of Genesis was very much in vogue in the mid-1600s (much as it is today) and Paradise Lost attained an almost instant acclaim.
John Milton was an English cleric, a protestant who nonetheless had a great affinity for catholic Italy, and this duality of interests shows in much of his creative writing as well as his religious tracts.
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Format: Hardcover
I had to read Paradise Lost for my University degree and I began reading a Penguin copy. I was bored stiff; although the text itself was as wonderful as one would expect of the epic to rule all epics, the font was small and it made difficult reading for my rather short-sighted eyes.

So I asked for the illustrated edition for Christmas, and this version is what I got and I am eternally grateful to my parent's for purchasing it for me, it's a thing of beauty.

The merits of Paradise Lost itself are well known - it's magnificently written, powerful and breathtaking throughout - so I will not repeat what has been said many times before and instead I will focus on the particulars of this particular edition.

The text itself is printed clearly and it is very easy to read, also, unlike the other edition I owned, there are speech marks indicating when characters are talking, a feature missing from my other copy. However, as another reviewer has mentioned, there are no notes and the lines are not numbered, except for a reference at the top of each page.

However, the best feature of this particular edition of Paradise Lost is the illustrations; they really bring every word to life. Milton describes events that are set on an incredible scale; he describes heaven, earth hell and what lies in between them. The illustrations by Gustave Doré - all fifty of them are here - visualize the imagery to perfection. The print quality of the illustrations is excellent, and the large size of the book ensures that they are exhibited as they deserve to be.

Paradise Lost deserves its status as one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written, and Gustave Doré deserves to be known as one of the most talented illustrators.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is not an exact or complete replica of the current Penguin Classics edition [ISBN 0-140-42439-3] Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics). Apart from the different cover and absent back cover, this Kindle mobi edition leaves out the following sections from the Penguin Classics edition: Introduction; Table of Dates; Further Reading; Note on the Text; Marvell 'On Paradise Lost'; and the detailed Notes section provided at the end of the Penguin Classics edition. The text of this edition also leaves out Milton's 'Argument's which precede each Book of Paradise Lost. Line numbers are omitted in the presentation of the text (compared with Penguin's which provides line numbers at intervals of 5 lines) - though one common fault of Kindle editions is that line numbers are usually jammed into the body of the text disruptively instead of being placed on hanging indents to the left of the column of verse. In the Penguin Classics printed edition the text has been partially modernized - spelling has been modernized, most capitals reduced [a word in all capitals is reduced to a capital for the first letter only, words whose first letters are capitalized are all in lower case], and most italics removed. This Kindle edition appears to retain the spelling and typographical stylistics of 17th century printed editions, though without any italicisation. My review evaluation of three stars represents the loss of the additional material present in the printed Penguin Classics edition, rather than value for money, which at 49p seems reasonable enough.
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