Paradise Lost Study Guide

Paradise Lost Study Guide

Original title:
Paradise Lost
February 27th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1667)
ISBN 0140424393 (ISBN13: 9780140424393)

Those of us who are madly in love with poems find “Paradise Lost” written by John Milton in 1667 the quintessence of literary mastery. You might not like the Bible, but you will for sure like the Biblical interpretation of contemporary reality executed in the book.

Prepare to get carried away with this dozen of books written as a blank verse story. It evokes lots of feelings and raises even more questions in readers’ minds. “Paradise Lost” is a mixture of politics, religion, eternity and human characters. Separately, it is also a mix of rich and intense language: it seems like the author has long been nurturing his words and sentences until they were perfect. 

Imagine England of the 17th century. The ideas of the Renaissance era slowly penetrate the island. The perception of an average Brit of that time is confused. While some of the Middle Age cannons, like the sacredness of religion and the monarchy, still dominate the society, the new thinking also makes its appearance. Revolution, civil war, Republic… It’s in this kind of circumstances that Milton started to work on his poem.

The author has managed to entangle his own views on the historical facts of lost war and broken ideas of that time into a sensitive and fragile Biblical plot. He is sincerely sorry for the devil, who dared to challenge God and was sent into the depths of hell. In his words, the Satan receives more human traits than the Maker or his angels. For example, he is sorry for the spirits who followed him and now must be punished. 

“Paradise Lost” is not an action or a fantastical novel, but because of its magnificent Renaissance language, carefully crafted verses, and Ancient Greek style, the text reads in one breath. The interpretation of the portraits of God and Devil are priceless and can’t be repeated anywhere else.

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