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on 13 August 2016
I bought this epic poem because I needed it for my A Levels, it's a set text. The book had the abstracts in yet no line numbers for reference. I found it hard to use and quote specific parts of the text as I found myself counting for the line numbers and labeling them myself. After I couldn't take it anymore, I bought a new one. The poem itself it's fine. For the price I paid, I wasn't too upset but for me, the line numbers are essential.
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on 28 April 2017
Good product and delivery
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on 10 June 2017
enjoyable classic
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on 19 July 2017
Very good
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on 20 July 2017
Happy
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on 30 May 2017
Exactly as described
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on 22 November 2013
This is a great book if you are a fan of 17th Century verse.

Not the easiest book to read but once you get into it you get submerged in Milton's world and the issues he tackles.

Highly recommended for anyone who thinks they can handle it, but do some research first so you know what you're letting yourself in for - it's not a 'commuting' book.
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on 1 May 2013
How can I possibly comment on this classic? Ithought that, for such a reasonable prrice, the book was well produced and I enjoed re-reading a favourite from schooldays. This is a readable, imaginitive version of the biblical story of the rise and fall of Satan. Very rich poetry, painting vivd pictures.
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on 13 October 2013
I hadn't dipped into Milton since school days and was again enchanted by the depth and range of language and imagery which chracterises this epic poetry. Perhaps the combinaton of his strong faith, his blindness and his daughter's devotion helped MIlton to depict the scenes of the Fall of Man and his salvation in such rich colours to achieve the pinnacle of the u se of the English language.
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HALL OF FAMEon 27 December 2005
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. Milton was nicknamed 'the divorcer' in his early career for writing a pamphlet that supported various civil liberties, including the right to obtain a civil divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, a very unpopular view for the day. Milton held a diplomatic post under the Commonwealth, and wrote defenses of the governments action, including the right of people to depose and dispose of a bad king.
Paradise Lost has a certain oral-epic quality to it, and for good reason. Milton lost his eyesight in 1652, and thus had to dictate the poem to several different assistants. Though influenced heavily by the likes of Virgil, Homer, and Dante, he differentiated himself in style and substance by concentrating on more humanist elements.
Say first -- for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell -- say first what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator and transgress his will,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Milton drops us from the beginning into the midst of the action, for the story is well known already, and proceeds during the course of the books (Milton's original had 10, but the traditional epic had 12 books, so some editions broke books VII and X into two books each) to both push the action forward and to give developing background -- how Satan came to be in Hell, after the war in heaven a description that includes perhaps the currently-most-famous line:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, that serve in heav'n.
(Impress your friends by knowing that this comes from Book I, lines 261-263 of Paradise Lost, rather than a Star Trek episode!)
The imagery of warfare and ambition in the angels, God's wisdom and power and wrath, the very human characterisations of Adam and Eve, and the development beyond Eden make a very compelling story, done with such grace of language that makes this a true classic for the ages. The magnificence of creation, the darkness and empty despair of hell, the manipulativeness of evil and the corruptible innocence of humanity all come through as classic themes. The final books of the epic recount a history of humanity, now sinful, as Paradise has been lost, a history in tune with typical Renaissance renderings, which also, in Milton's religious convictions, will lead to the eventual destruction of this world and a new creation.
A great work that takes some effort to comprehend, but yields great rewards for those who stay the course.
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