Living during a tumultuous period that saw the English Civil War and the rise of Oliver Cromwell, Milton witnessed firsthand the political and religious conflicts that swept not just England but much of Europe during the 17th century. Not surprisingly, these became themes in much of his works, including the epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, which are considered not just his masterpieces but some of the greatest poems ever written.
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About the Author
John Milton was born in London on December 9, 1608, and studied at the University of Cambridge. He originally planned to become a clergyman, but abandoned those ambitions to become a poet. Political in his writings, he served a government post during the time of the Commonwealth. In 1651, he went completely blind but he continued to write, finishing Paradise Lost in 1667, and Paradise Regained in 1671. He died in 1674.
Christopher Ricks is professor of humanities at Boston University and most recently author of Dylan’s Visions of Sin.
Susanne Woods is a Provost nad Professor of English at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and Chair of the professional Northeast Milton Seminar. Her doctorate is from Columbia University and she has taught at the University of Hawaii, Franklin & Marshall College, and at Brown University, where she maintains an affiliation. Her books include Natural Emphasis: English Versification from Chaucer to Dryden (1984), and Lanyer: A Renaissance Woman Poet (1999), and she has published numerous articles on Milton and other English renaissance poets.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book tells the story of the fall of man in such a new and detailed fashion, it's captivating. Though this book shouldn't necessarily be taken as non-fiction, it strengthened my beliefs as a theist only because it made the story about creation, the war of Satan against God, and Satan's vandetta against both God and man more believable through providing detailed character motive. Paradise Lost will also challenge both your knowledge of extended vocabulary, as well as history of biblical times. I recommend it to anyone capable of grasping it's story.
Truly inspiring. If you told me 10 years ago that I would love teaching these poems, I'd have laughed in your face. But Milton has a beautiful way of taking a few, sparse Bible verses and turning them into a human narrative that you can understand and relate to. Book Three of Paradise Lost is, in my opinion, nothing short of inspired genius.
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in the same tradition of Homer, Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare. Milton, like many of his time, wrote about (or against) religion, thus incurring the wrath of the church. It doesn't matter, though, for Milton's account of the fall of man is far better than Gensis. Although it may be hard to read, it should be read-- especially because it sparked Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. I read Paradise Lost alongside His Dark Materials in order to get a clear picture of the main story and the deviations each author took.
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