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Paradise Lost: A Poem in 12 Books (Paradise #1)

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Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love. Marked by Milton's characteristic erudition is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years it has held generation upon generation of scholars, students and readers in rapt attention and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.


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Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love. Marked by Milton's characteristic erudition is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years it has held generation upon generation of scholars, students and readers in rapt attention and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.

30 review for Paradise Lost: A Poem in 12 Books (Paradise #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    in middle school i had seen this book lying around the house and for some reason it struck me as very impressive. i didn't ever want to read it but i wanted to give off the impression that i was the type of person who would read it. i did this with a few other books too (catcher in the rye, on the road, ect.) i carried it to school so that teachers would see it in my possession and prominently displayed it on my bedside table to let friends and family know. after actually reading the book for a in middle school i had seen this book lying around the house and for some reason it struck me as very impressive. i didn't ever want to read it but i wanted to give off the impression that i was the type of person who would read it. i did this with a few other books too (catcher in the rye, on the road, ect.) i carried it to school so that teachers would see it in my possession and prominently displayed it on my bedside table to let friends and family know. after actually reading the book for a brit-lit class i realized how wrong my thirteen-year-old self was with the image i assumed i was portraying. most likely people realized that i was desperate for attention and for some strange reason was using john milton to get it, but on the off chance they did believe i was 'into' paradise lost, i must have seemed like a total psycho. the book is about a war waged in hell after satan's fall into the underworld. all of the descriptions are completely graphic and grotesque. i think i blocked a lot out but i do remember a female demon who is repeatedly raped by her sons immediately after giving birth to them. yuck. thank god i realized later that the best way to get attention is through cigarettes and promiscuity not literature.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    There's all this debate over why Satan is so appealing in Paradise Lost. Did Milton screw up? Is he being cynical, or a double-secret atheist? And why is God such a dick? But no one asks whether, say, Shakespeare screwed up in making Iago so much fun; they just give him credit for writing an awesome villain. And that's all Milton's doing. Satan is tempting for us because Satan is tempting for us. That's the point of Satan! If Milton didn't make him as appealing as possible, he'd be doing Satan a There's all this debate over why Satan is so appealing in Paradise Lost. Did Milton screw up? Is he being cynical, or a double-secret atheist? And why is God such a dick? But no one asks whether, say, Shakespeare screwed up in making Iago so much fun; they just give him credit for writing an awesome villain. And that's all Milton's doing. Satan is tempting for us because Satan is tempting for us. That's the point of Satan! If Milton didn't make him as appealing as possible, he'd be doing Satan a disservice. And Eve, for that matter. Similarly, God's a dick because God's a dick. You've read the Old Testament. He's not exactly all flowers and hugs there either. Again, Milton's just being true to his characters, and writing a great story while he's at it. There’s slightly more to it than that, yeah. For example: it's hinted a little that God sets Satan up to fall. He gives a stern warning that anyone who disobeys him or his son will be cast out of Heaven. But since there's no sin or evil at the time of his speech, why give the warning? Isn't that like saying "Don't touch these cookies while I'm gone" to a kid who didn't realize there were cookies until you pointed them out? Here’s my advice to people considering reading Paradise Lost: read the first two books. It starts with a bang, and it’s pretty amazing for a while. It slows down a bit in books III - VII, so if you’re not totally sold in the first two books (I was), you can either quit altogether with a fair idea of what Milton sounds like, or skip to books IX and X. IX is the actual temptation and fall (especially fun if you’re a misogynist), and X is an astonishing sequence where Adam and Eve contemplate suicide: "Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened out To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet Mortality my sentence... his dreadful voice no more Would thunder in my ears." (Adam, X.774 - 780) “We’ve totally mucked this up, and our kids are gonna justifiably hate us because we got kicked out of Paradise, and maybe we should just quit while we’re behind.” But really, the whole thing is worth it. Took me a while – it’s intense stuff, so I found that I had to read a book and then chew on it for a while to process it before moving to the next one – but it’s cool. In book VIII, if you’re cosmologically minded, Milton lays out the whole universe. Like Giordano Bruno, he understands that our earth is a tiny speck in the universe, and he gets that all the stars are suns like ours, and therefore could have planets like ours around them. He also thinks they might be inhabited; our species might not be God's only experiment. Elsewhere, other Adams and Eves may have faced the same test of the Tree of Knowledge - and they might have passed it. Isn't that an amazing thought? In books XI and XII, Michael tells Adam sortof all the rest of the stories in the Old Testament, which of course boil down to: “So shall the world go on, To good malignant, to bad men benign, Under her own weight groaning.” (XII 537 – 539) That’s your fault there, Adam. Nice work. He rushes through them though, and it makes me wonder whether Milton had originally intended to retell the entire Old Testament but got bored or intimidated or something. That would’ve been remarkable. Certainly Paradise Lost is better literature than the Old Testament is, and significantly more coherent. It's also better literature than almost everything else. Second-best poem by a blind guy ever.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Oden

    Portions of this book were assigned for my Brit Lit class. I read about half of the assigned portions. I was distracted at the time by various events in life and wasn't yet a very good student. My professor had done his PhD work on Milton and taught with a contagious passion. So much passion that I decided, after the discussion was over, to buy the whole book. During our five day Fall break in my sophomore year I sat on the front lawn of my college and read Paradise Lost. Nonstop, getting up for Portions of this book were assigned for my Brit Lit class. I read about half of the assigned portions. I was distracted at the time by various events in life and wasn't yet a very good student. My professor had done his PhD work on Milton and taught with a contagious passion. So much passion that I decided, after the discussion was over, to buy the whole book. During our five day Fall break in my sophomore year I sat on the front lawn of my college and read Paradise Lost. Nonstop, getting up for meals and other important breaks but otherwise spending that whole break reading Milton. Hardly anyone else remained on campus. The weather was cool and breezy and beautiful. I sat under a tree and read lengthy portions out loud, which helped me get into the rhythm. Once in the rhythm of reading I tasted heaven itself. This book was an awakening for me, a trigger that opened up my soul and allowed me to understand a small portion of eternity. It was an epiphany weekend for me, one which transformed my soul, and remains in many ways an anchor for my faith. During the dark times of my soul I remembered those days and knew, knew, knew there was something to still hope for. This is a hard read and one that likely requires a lot of space, quiet and time. It takes a while to get into his rhythm and finally dance with his words, but if you can, if you can get away from this world for a while and devote yourself to Milton's work you'll find a new reality opening up. The man saw heaven. The man knew God. His writing is genius and extraordinary, far beyond anything else I've ever read. This book, literally, changed my soul and my life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leo .

    Is Satan coming? Are we in the End of Days? Is the Earth heating, under the Sun's Rays? Is it all make believe, manipulation, or true? Why on this wonderful Earth, is everybody blue? Are we in the Rapture? Impending Doom? Lightning strikes, sink holes and thunderous sonic booms Ebola and earth quakes, hurricanes and tornadoes too Now I can see why we are feeling blue Forest fires, tsunamis, land slides and Hail Watching the mainstream news, it looks like Hell! Fake news and propaganda, rhetoric , is it al Is Satan coming? Are we in the End of Days? Is the Earth heating, under the Sun's Rays? Is it all make believe, manipulation, or true? Why on this wonderful Earth, is everybody blue? Are we in the Rapture? Impending Doom? Lightning strikes, sink holes and thunderous sonic booms Ebola and earth quakes, hurricanes and tornadoes too Now I can see why we are feeling blue Forest fires, tsunamis, land slides and Hail Watching the mainstream news, it looks like Hell! Fake news and propaganda, rhetoric , is it all that is seen All this mayhem and misery, coming from the TV Screen Terrorism, false flags, usury and greed People living on top of each other, all race, and persuasion and creed We would get along swimmingly, if we were not controlled, Lorded over by a few Elite, cabal, hidden Knowledge kept esoteric, to us Forbidden Is Satan Saturn? The father of time. Old Nick, as in the Nick of time Are we trapped in a matrix, a primeval soup, dark matter, black slime? So dense with materialism, constricting like a snake Keeping up with this capitalism, something has to break The serpent swallowing its tail, does capitalism work? When the Elites own it all, people will go berserk Orchestrated chaos, civil unrest, no food in the stores Swallowed up like a black hole by Corporation Whores Inflation going up but, no paid work for people Replaced by Machines, useless eaters, Sheeple Is the Earth a farm? Are we the characters in Orwell's animal farm? All following the Pied Piper's musical charm In the words of the Killers, are we dancer? following in Formation, to a tune Like Lemmings, cartoon characters, loony toon Is a policeman acting? As in acting police officer, is this all a game? One is asked if we understand, or stand under, whilst having the point of blame Look around, see what is really going on, ignore BBC, CNN and SKY Make one's own decision, let them pass by After all they are reading from a script, edited and photo shopped, they have the means to fake Not some individual, who witnessed first hand, and managed to take A picture with their mob phone, it must be real Not according to MSM, its all fake, doctored and spiel What is really going on in the skies? Is the climate changing, geo engineering, or is it all lies? Is Satan coming? Is it the End of Days? Or is he already here? Been here always Armageddon, Jihad, Ragnarok, it's all the same to me Same story, different culture, that is History So what is coming? What is going to happen? To Ye and Me? One things for sure, you won't find out on the BBC By Leo.🐯👍 If he is already here, where does he reside? Is he out in the open? Or does he hide? Hmmm! Maybe it is both, hidden in plain sight The only few that know, illuminated by the false light!🐯👍 Maybe we are all Satan's children, Kids? Baby Goat of Mendes When did Children suddenly become Kids? It is Madness Yet parents call them thus Am I unnecessarily causing a fuss? Wake up and see, what words we use Words that are there, only to confuse Satan is androgynous! Both of Male and Female Sex Our children, being indoctrinated, by a Witchcraft Hex Nobody can see, this Paradigm changing fast All rational debate, or thoughts, will be our last As we move forward into this New World that is Abound The opening of Hades, a Three Headed Hound Return of the Old Ones, are we ready for this to begin? A world where anything goes, a world of debauchery and sin. 👍🐯👍

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    When I think of Milton's epic poem about Satan and his fall from grace, I most frequently think of two anecdotes apart from the actual work, brilliant and a foundation of modern literature as it is. First, I recall the scene from Animal House, when Donald Sutherland begins a smarmy, condescendingly pretentious question to his class about Milton's intentions for introducing Satan as such an interesting character, punctuating the delivery with a crisp bite of his apple. As the bell rings and the cl When I think of Milton's epic poem about Satan and his fall from grace, I most frequently think of two anecdotes apart from the actual work, brilliant and a foundation of modern literature as it is. First, I recall the scene from Animal House, when Donald Sutherland begins a smarmy, condescendingly pretentious question to his class about Milton's intentions for introducing Satan as such an interesting character, punctuating the delivery with a crisp bite of his apple. As the bell rings and the class dutifully escapes from his lecture, he deflates and mutters about how boring it all is. Secondly, I recall a misadventure I had in college. At the time I was an honors English student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, back in the post ice age times of the late eighties. I unslung my Civil War musket and headed to class, knowing that I had been guilty of aggravated student procrastination. Due that very morning was a paper (we actually used to physically write out essays back then, with pen or pencil and on an essay book) and my very ambitious subject was a comparison between the literary styles of epic and tragedy, and using as examples Milton's Paradise Lost and Shakespeare's King Lear. Not only was the paper not done, but I had not completely read either work! I jaunted into class with the intention of asking for a couple of days extra, to "clean up my notes". My professor, who up to that time had been a model of undergraduate cool, now turned authoritarian and replied, "no" it was due no later than the end of the day. I could drop it off at her office by four pm. Keeping my cool, I just had to tidy up the final draft after all, I walked out of class, down the hall, and then broke into a loping, lycanthropic run for my room. To this day, almost thirty years later, I can remember the soul crushing dread of sitting down and staring at my painfully scanty notes. Well, sports fans, I turned in one for the ages, slinging more excrement than a West Texas cow rancher in springtime. Not only were Milton and Shakespeare comparable, they were best mates, tennis doubles partners and drinking buddies. The two works were like Forrest and Jenny, peas and carrots. B minus.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    Fuck your misogyny. Fuck your scorning Greek gods as false gods, then using its mythology left and right as metaphors. Fuck your punishing the serpent when You knew it was possessed by Satan. Fuck—Ah, forget it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Milton wrote this while blind, and claimed it was the result of divine inspiration which visited him nightly. There are few texts that could reasonably be added into the Bible, and this is certainly one of them (the Divine Comedy is another). Paradise Lost outlines portions of the Bible which, thanks to its haphazard combination of mythic stories, are never fully explored. In fact, most of Paradise Lost has become tacitly accepted into the Christian mythos, even if most Christians do not recogni Milton wrote this while blind, and claimed it was the result of divine inspiration which visited him nightly. There are few texts that could reasonably be added into the Bible, and this is certainly one of them (the Divine Comedy is another). Paradise Lost outlines portions of the Bible which, thanks to its haphazard combination of mythic stories, are never fully explored. In fact, most of Paradise Lost has become tacitly accepted into the Christian mythos, even if most Christians do not recognize it as a source. It also updated not only the epic, but the heroic form, and its questioning of the devil is a great philosophical exploration, even if it may ultimately prove a failure, as I shall try to explain. The question remains: even if the Vatican did not explicitly include it, why are there not smaller sects which so often spring up around such and inspiring and daring work? The answer is that one need not explicitly include something that has been included implicitly. Many readers accept Milton's view of events as accurate and that it was wholly derived from the Bible, when in fact, it is largely an original work. Under Constantine, Hell and the Devil were re-conceptualized. The representation of Hell in the Bible is often metaphorical, and does not include 'fire and brimstone'. Hell is defined as 'absence from God' and nothing more. This is supposed to be a painful and unfulfilling experience, but not literal physical torture. Much of the modern conceptualization of Hell is based upon Hellenic mythological influences and verses from Revelation taken out of context. The place of 'fire and brimstone' is where the Devil and the Antichrist are put after the apocalypse, and is never stated as being related to human afterlife. Likewise, the Devil is most commonly depicted as a greedy idiot chasing after farts. The only tempting he ever does Biblically is during Job, where he must first ask God if he is permitted to interfere. The concept of the Devil as a charming, rebellious trickster and genius is entirely Milton. He portrays him this way to align Satan with the heroic figures of Epic Poetry. This is not because he thinks of the Devil as a hero, but rather so he can show that our heroes should not be rebellious murderers as they were in ancient stories, but humble, pious, simple men. He gives the Devil philosophical and political motivations for rebelling, but has him fail to notice that God cannot be questioned or defeated. However, this requires that one absolutely believe this assertion without ever testing it. Anyone who accepts it unquestioningly (such as C.S. Lewis) is bound to believe that the Devil is foolish to question the natural order. However, Milton himself states that the Devil had no choice but to doubt, and due to our own rational minds, man cannot help doubting either. In this case, we might fall in with Blake, and suggest that Milton was the Devil's man, not because he wanted to be, but because he carried biblical rhetoric to its rational conclusion. This is illustrated in a rather shocking way in the creation of Eve: finding herself, utterly new to the world, she sees her own reflection in a puddle and, finding it beautiful, leans down naively and tries to kiss it. This amusing retelling of the myth of Narcissus indicates that God made women naturally autoerotic and bisexual. Sadly, this never made it into modern Christianity, for some reason, but it does show the strength of Paradise Lost: Milton provides rhetorical support for every idea he explores, even those he did not side with. It is a great book of questions, and a book which demands the reader think and try to understand. We are supposed to sympathize with the Devil because he is heroic and dangerous, but we also know he is the Devil. We know that to sympathize with him is wrong, and that he is supposed to be wrong. Milton here invented the concept of the Devil we cannot help but sympathize with, and who we must fight daily to overcome. He defined sin as doubt, but without realizing that doubt will always deconstruct an old answer and suggest a new one. The fact remains that metaphysically, doubt can only injure us in a realm we cannot know exists. As the enemy of any tyranny--of men, of ideas--doubt is the helpmeet of all who struggle. The Devil is the father of doubt, and the final outcome of doubt is always accepting that we are fundamentally ignorant: either in our believing, or in our not believing. He also uses the English language in an entirely idiomatic and masterful way, his is one of the few unique voices of English. Reading him sometimes proves a challenge for those without a background in Latin, since his sentence structure and particularly his verb use are stripped-down and multipurpose, taking the form of metaphysical poets to its logical conclusion. He is also one of the most knowledgeable and allusive of writers, especially when it comes to the longer form. His encyclopedic exploration of myths, reinvention of scenes, and adoption of ideas make this work one of the most wide-reaching and interconnected in English. This can make his work somewhat daunting for readers, who are often unwilling to read the books he references in preparation for tackling him, which I find rather ironic, since no one complains about having to read ten-thousand pages of Harry Potter before tackling the last book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    “What does the word ‘Paradise’ signifies to a human being?” Is it the state of blissfulness which one acknowledges in life owing to the absence of all fears as can be experienced in this dwelling place of ours? Or is it an actual place somewhere in heaven which is the ultimate goal that humans wish to achieve? As a child, I had a profound belief in the idea of God and heaven too. Yes, and perhaps the reason I wished to believe in him was the fact that world seemed a beautiful place, a place where “What does the word ‘Paradise’ signifies to a human being?” Is it the state of blissfulness which one acknowledges in life owing to the absence of all fears as can be experienced in this dwelling place of ours? Or is it an actual place somewhere in heaven which is the ultimate goal that humans wish to achieve? As a child, I had a profound belief in the idea of God and heaven too. Yes, and perhaps the reason I wished to believe in him was the fact that world seemed a beautiful place, a place where everything was just as it should have been; Loving parents and siblings, affectionate neighbors, and an innocent belief, one which leads a child to trust even an unknown smiling stranger on the road. But that was a long time ago. Times have changed faster since then. Faster than I could get a chance to put everything together and analyze the reason why it changed. It changed almost everyday since I grew big enough to understand that not every stranger could be trusted. The affectionate neighbors or relatives were not that amiable so as to forgive an innocent childhood indulgence, that parents were not the super humans, perfect and devoid of all faults, and that, nobody was perfect, not even me. And then the whole world started to seem to be at disharmony. There were people belonging to different strata of society, people rich, and poor and in between, people belonging to different castes, creeds and countries, people fighting with each other over smaller issues like standing in a row to bigger issues like fighting for a territory in a country; Countries going at war, hatred and more hatred. Slowly the faith started to crumble and ultimately it shattered. My Paradise was lost forever. At times it makes me shiver to consider that even my son, or for that matter any child, can go through the same experience. I can personally relate to the title “Paradise Lost” as being the loss of faith in God, faith that affirms the presence of a caring and loving spirit, inaccessible but still closer to the souls of believers, something which they can hold onto. It is also a loss in the idea of necessity of human existence and of life itself. For me, the title also signifies the loss of the world as seen from the eyes of a child. This is the reason why the work fascinated me and I picked it up. “Paradise lost” is undoubtedly a great work. There isn’t much I can write to appreciate its significance as the work of an art. The book is a beautiful exploration into the biblical characters of Satan, Adam and Eve, their thoughts and conversations and their FALL. The title here signifies the loss of “Paradise” or “heaven”, which is God’s abode, for them. It is shown as the loss for ‘Satan’ as well as for ‘Adam and eve’, the loss due to their fall. Satan falls when he tries to become equal to GOD and Adam and Eve fall when they eat the prohibited fruit. (view spoiler)[Though, it is intriguing to think that an omnipotent, omniscient and all loving God could have led to such circumstances as to let Satan allure in the desire to become equal to Him. Similarly, I couldn’t understand the need of planting a tree whose fruit should have been forbidden to Adam and Eve? Even if planted, was it necessary to warn them of the consequences of eating it? Wasn’t the warning enough of an allure? (hide spoiler)] In the end, the angel says following words to Adam to let them redeem their paradise: “This having learnt, thou hast attained the summe Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs Thou knewst by name, and all th’ ethereal Powers, All secrets of the deep, all Natures works, Or works of God in Heav’n, Air, Earth, or Sea, And all the riches of this World enjoydst, And all the rule, one Empire; onely add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith, Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love, By name to come call’d Charitie, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A Paradise within thee, happier farr.” May we be able to find our own Paradises within ourselves!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    I need a new reading challenge, something big and something bold; thus, I’ve decided to tackle this behemoth of poetry. This one might take me a while.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 3.5 out of 5 stars for Paradise Lost, the first of a two-book series, written in 1667 by John Milton. I've only read the first book in this series, but would like to read the second piece at some point. These are epic poems telling of the battle between Satan and God for control over the human soul. It's truly an introspective piece, as I believe Milton threw so much of himself, as well as people in general, into this work. It's captured the attention of so many people, and not ju Book Review 3.5 out of 5 stars for Paradise Lost, the first of a two-book series, written in 1667 by John Milton. I've only read the first book in this series, but would like to read the second piece at some point. These are epic poems telling of the battle between Satan and God for control over the human soul. It's truly an introspective piece, as I believe Milton threw so much of himself, as well as people in general, into this work. It's captured the attention of so many people, and not just readers. It's the foundation of several films and television adaptions. Some argue it loses focus on the religious aspects; others praise it for being very open to different experiences. It's the kind of literature that pushes you to think about voice and characters. About different sides to a story and alternative opinions. How does it feel to agree with Satan? Do you accept being disappointed in something God says because it's something you thought was OK to do? So much in the words, but also the message is even more powerful. It's a lot to digest, but if you haven't read it, look up a few passages to see if the lyrical tone is something you can absorb while reading the words. It may help give you some perspective on different aspects of life and death. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Foad

    درآمد شيطان بعد از سقوطی سخت، به هوش مياد و خودش رو در دره اى تاريك و موحش مى بينه. اما بدون اين كه خودش رو ببازه، سرشار از خشم و طعنه، به يكى از يارانش نهيب ميزنه كه خودش رو جمع و جور كنه. بعد بالاى كوهى ميره و قلمروى دوزخ كه با تمام سپاهیان فرشتگان عصیانگر بهش تبعيد شده رو از نظر می گذرونه. لشکر نوميد و شكست خورده ش رو احضار مى كنه، و با اقتدار فرياد مى زنه: ما شكست نخورديم، ما در حقيقت پيروز شديم! چون نشون داديم پايه هاى سلطنت خدا اون قدرها هم تزلزل ناپذير نيست، و اگه كمى بيشتر تلاش مى كرديم، درآمد شيطان بعد از سقوطی سخت، به هوش مياد و خودش رو در دره اى تاريك و موحش مى بينه. اما بدون اين كه خودش رو ببازه، سرشار از خشم و طعنه، به يكى از يارانش نهيب ميزنه كه خودش رو جمع و جور كنه. بعد بالاى كوهى ميره و قلمروى دوزخ كه با تمام سپاهیان فرشتگان عصیانگر بهش تبعيد شده رو از نظر می گذرونه. لشکر نوميد و شكست خورده ش رو احضار مى كنه، و با اقتدار فرياد مى زنه: ما شكست نخورديم، ما در حقيقت پيروز شديم! چون نشون داديم پايه هاى سلطنت خدا اون قدرها هم تزلزل ناپذير نيست، و اگه كمى بيشتر تلاش مى كرديم، مى تونستيم از عظمت كبريايى ش سرنگونش كنيم! پس خودتون رو آماده کنید و بيايد يه بار ديگه باهاش زور آزمايى كنيم! و به اين ترتيب، بهشت گمشده حماسه الهى، آغاز ميشه، با نقش آفرينىِ: شيطان در هيئت جوانى زيبا با زرهى از طلا و الماس و سپرى از اثير كه به پشت مى بنده و دو بال فرشته گونه، سرشار از هوش و غرور و شجاعت و آزادى خواهى، با احساساتى جريحه دار شده كه بعد از شكست آمیخته شده با نوميدى و سر خوردگى - كه سعى مى كنه پنهانش كنه - و خشم و نفرت و كينه: یک قهرمان بایرونی تمام عیار؛ خدا و پسرش و باقى فرشته ها كه با محافظه كارى درست شبيه كتب مقدس تصوير شدن؛ آدم و حوا با زيبايى عريان، در عين حال خردمند و نادان - نادانى معصومانه ى كودكانه - و شبيه زن و شوهرى كه در لايه هاى زيرين دچار مشكل هستن اما در ظاهر با رفتارهايى تصنعى به هم عشق مى ورزن، و از همين حالا معلومه كه قراره يه روز اين ناسازگارى بروز كنه و هر كدوم با نفرت تقصير رو گردن اون يكى بيندازه! و با حضور افتخارىِ: نوح و ابراهيم و موسى در مكاشفه اى كه براى آدم دست ميده. كتاب جان ميلتون، شاعر انگليسى، بهشت گمشده رو در سال ١٦٦٧ منتشر كرد. كتاب از دوازده دفتر تشكيل شده كه ماجراى آشنای نخستين روزهاى خلقت به روايت عهد عتيق رو بازگو مى كنه. داستان از سقوط شيطان آغاز و با هبوط آدم ختم ميشه. و در اين ميان، بخش هايى رو روايت مى كنه كه توى روايت كتب مقدس ناگفته موندن: دلایل شیطان برای نافرمانی از خدا (ميگه: "کدام کس می تواند حقّ فرمانروایی بر کسانی را داشته باشد، که گرچه از لحاظ قدرت یا عظمت برابر او نیستند، دست کم از لحاظ آزادی با او برابرند و بنا به حق، یکسان می زیند؟") ، نبرد بزرگ فرشتگان طرفدار خدا و طرفداران شیطان، اختراع توپ و باروت توسط شیطان، سقوط شیطان به عمق دوزخ و دلداری دادن یارانش، برپاساختن قصری باشکوه در دل دوزخ به عنوان پایتخت شیاطین، توصیف دوزخ و بهشت، زندگی آدم و حوا در بهشت قبل از هبوط و خيلى چیزاى دیگه. به عبارت ديگه، ميلتون تا حدودى از داستانى آشنا، آشنايى زدايى كرده و نسخه ى خودش رو تعريف كرده. كه الحق نسخه ى خوندنى و هيجان انگيزيه، مخصوصاً اگه به داستان هاى فانتزى حماسى علاقه مند باشيد. ترجمه کتاب دو ترجمه داره: یکی از "شجاع الدین شفا" که نثر فاخرش و جملات زیباش آدم رو مسحور می کنه، و یکی "فریده دامغانی" که نثر معمولی تری داره. متأسفانه شجاع الدین شفا فقط سه دفتر از دوازده دفتر بهشت گمشده رو ترجمه کرده، در نتیجه ترجمه ش ناقصه. و لاجرم باید ترجمه فریده دامغانی رو خوند. ترجمه هایی که روی اینترنت موجوده همه ترجمه ی ناقص شجاع الدین شفا هستن. اما این چندان بد هم نیست: توصیه می کنم اول همین ترجمه (که نود صفحه بیشتر نیست) رو بخونید. این سه دفتر، از قشنگ ترین بخش های کتاب هستن. هر چی کتاب جلوتر میره، حضور شيطان كمتر ميشه و در نتيجه از جذابیت داستان كاسته ميشه. اگه مجذوب این سه بخش شدید و خواستید ادامه ی داستان رو بخونید، ترجمه ی فریده دامغانی رو تهیه کنید. وگرنه، دنبالش نرید.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    (Joint review with JORDAN) [A projection room somewhere in Hollywood. Two middle-aged men are looking at a screen, currently empty:] JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: [for it is he:] Okay Mike, now you've been playing this pretty close to your chest. Show me what you've got. MICHAEL BAY: I'd love to. [The film starts. We see the Garden of Eden. Nothing much is happening. The camera pans around and finally looks at some pretty KUROSAWA-inspired clouds. On the voiceover, ANTHONY HOPKINS, as the Narrator, is reading (Joint review with JORDAN) [A projection room somewhere in Hollywood. Two middle-aged men are looking at a screen, currently empty:] JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: [for it is he:] Okay Mike, now you've been playing this pretty close to your chest. Show me what you've got. MICHAEL BAY: I'd love to. [The film starts. We see the Garden of Eden. Nothing much is happening. The camera pans around and finally looks at some pretty KUROSAWA-inspired clouds. On the voiceover, ANTHONY HOPKINS, as the Narrator, is reading Paradise Lost:] HOPKINS: Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast Brought Death into the World, and all our woe... BRUCKHEIMER: [almost physically ill:] Mike, how could you do this to me? [BAY looks smug and says nothing:] HOPKINS: ... Illumin, what is low raise and support; That to the highth of this great Argument I may assert Eternal Providence, And justifie the wayes of God to men. BRUCKHEIMER: Tell me I'm not hearing this. [On cue, MEGAN FOX appears, walking in slo-mo and wearing nothing but an entrancing smile. Various bits bounce interestingly:] BRUCKHEIMER: Hey! Didn't she say you were like Hitler? BAY: Megan and I understand each other. [A moment later, we see ROBERT PATTINSON, dressed in similar fashion. BRUCKHEIMER suddenly brightens up:] BRUCKHEIMER: Mike, don't ever do that to me again. O-kaay. Well, this oughta pack in the Twilight fans. But are you sure we should be showing his... [BAY is way ahead of him. He gestures to the PROJECTIONIST, who immediately switches to a different shot of the same scene. Various strategically placed branches, stones, leaves etc have restored PATTINSON's modesty à la AUSTIN POWERS:] BRUCKHEIMER: Better. Wait, is he sparkling? BAY: It's just the lights. We can fix that in post-editing. BRUCKHEIMER: And I'm still not happy about the language. No one'll understand a word of it. BAY: Come on, Jerry. Think Passion of the Christ. Think Apocalypto. Think Inglourious Basterds... BRUCKHEIMER: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they had subtitles. Okay, we'll talk about that later. Show me some of the action sequences. [Another cut. Alarums. Excursions. CGI effects. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, holding a massive laser weapon, is blasting away at what appears to be a horde of DECEPTICONS:] HOPKINS: ... Full soon Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand Grasping ten thousand Thunders, which he sent Before him, such as in thir Soules infix'd Plagues; they astonisht all resistance lost... BRUCKHEIMER: Jesus Christ. BAY: Who else? SCHWARZENEGGER: Eat wrath-of-God, muthafuckas! [BRUCKHEIMER raises an eyebrow. BAY looks defensive:] BAY: It was an ad lib. We haven't decided yet if we're going to keep it. [An awkward pause:] BAY: Do you think we should give him a halo? BRUCKHEIMER: The religious right will like that. I'd say go with it. So I guess you have Dan Craig as Satan? BAY: Budget said we couldn't afford him. Let me show you what we came up with. [Cut. MICHAEL DOUGLAS, as Satan, faces GLENN CLOSE. She looks like a rather scarier version of Cruella de Vil:] DOUGLAS: What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son? I know thee not, nor ever saw till now Sight more detestable then him and thee. BRUCKHEIMER: Who the fuck is she? I haven't read this since high school. BAY: It's Sin. His ex. CLOSE: ... Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd A growing burden... [Flashback. A much younger version of CLOSE, with frizzy blonde hair as in Fatal Attraction, is taking joy with DOUGLAS over a celestial sink:] BRUCKHEIMER: [Doubtful:] Will the 16-24 demographic get it? BAY: Research is working on that. We're thinking she could maybe boil Eve's bunny. I'll show you another bit. DOUGLAS: [Making speech:] ... Here we may reign secure; and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in hell: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. BRUCKHEIMER: Cut it. Too talky. BAY: Yup, that's what we thought too. It's out. BRUCKHEIMER: So how do we wrap this up? I remember it had a crap ending. Total downer too. [Commotion outside. Raised voices. Suddenly, the door opens, and TILDA SWINTON strides in wearing her White Witch costume:] BRUCKHEIMER: What the... SWINTON: Eve was framed! [She raises her wand and zaps BRUCKHEIMER and BAY, who are instantly transformed into snakes:] BRUCKHEIMER: Hiss! BAY: Hiss! BRUCKHEIMER: Fucking hiss! SWINTON: [to camera:] The end.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Who but a blind man could so vividly write of the darkness of Hell? Paradise Lost is fire and passion. It is the pinnacle and the bottomless pit. It is the struggle for all that is good. It is the struggle within the evil of all evils. In the mid-1600s John Milton, aging and gone blind, dictated his most famous work, Paradise Lost, an epic poem that harkens back to Homer and Virgil. It not only tells the so very well-known story of Adam and Eve, it also describes the downfall of Satan in dramatic Who but a blind man could so vividly write of the darkness of Hell? Paradise Lost is fire and passion. It is the pinnacle and the bottomless pit. It is the struggle for all that is good. It is the struggle within the evil of all evils. In the mid-1600s John Milton, aging and gone blind, dictated his most famous work, Paradise Lost, an epic poem that harkens back to Homer and Virgil. It not only tells the so very well-known story of Adam and Eve, it also describes the downfall of Satan in dramatic fashion. The empathy shown for this most famous of fallen angels is, for me, one of the most outstanding sections of this early work of English literature. Epic is a laughably overused word these days. However, the depiction of Mammon and Beelzebub marshaling their demonic minions for the coming war is the stuff of ancient epics. Tolkien and Lewis most definitely borrowed heavily from these passages of Milton's when penning their own epics. The language has aged. Some of this is archaic and occasionally difficult to understand. But stick with it and you shall be rewarded.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Liz Janet

    “This having learnt, thou hast attained the summe Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs Thou knewst by name, and all th’ ethereal Powers, All secrets of the deep, all Natures works, Or works of God in Heav’n, Air, Earth, or Sea, And all the riches of this World enjoydst, And all the rule, one Empire; onely add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith, Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love, By name to come call’d Charitie, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave t “This having learnt, thou hast attained the summe Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs Thou knewst by name, and all th’ ethereal Powers, All secrets of the deep, all Natures works, Or works of God in Heav’n, Air, Earth, or Sea, And all the riches of this World enjoydst, And all the rule, one Empire; onely add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith, Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love, By name to come call’d Charitie, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A Paradise within thee, happier farr.” READ THIS BOOK FOR ONE OF THE MOST UNKNOWN ANTIHEROES OF ALL TIME, LUCIFER, THE PRINCE OF HELL. This is the story of the Fall of Man from Eden, the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan, and the loss of their almost tangible relationship with God, however, later on, we realize the most beautiful story, is that of the fall of Satan, his descent into Tartarus, his role in the Angelic War, and his quest to destroy God's most precious creation, humanity. Satan is the main protagonist, the protagonist of one of the greatest poems, not just of English literature, but of all time. This is not to say that it is his sole story, nor that this was Milton's purpose, but to the regular man, Satan represents most of what humanity is, a brash, arrogant, confident, flawed, curious, courageous, hypocritical, mostly all that encompasses the human experience. For his desire for more, his need to be appreciated over God's flawed creation, leads him to befall to the darkest pit of Hell, and he vows revenge, and boy does he get it. The second strength of this poem, aside Satan, comes from the magnificent black verse in which it is written. “Farewel happy Fields Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time. The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less then he Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.” This traitorous angel actually managed to make Hell sound good, not amazing, but a paradise for free-thinkers apparently. he saw himself as such a saviour to those that followed him, that sometimes, in our hearts, we feel a tinny bit sad for his outcome. And then we remember it is because of him that many horrid things happen and we feel good that he is where he is again. BUT HE IS THE MOST HUMAN CHARACTERS OF ALL THE ONES IN THE POEM. “I sung of chaos and eternal night, Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down the dark decent, and up to reascend...” Milton wrote this for humans to have an understanding of all God did all the way to the Great Flood. Which has led many to question: Why does Satan have a political reason to rebel against God? Why was God such a barbarian? Why is Satan our temptation still? Why is Gabriel such a do-gooder and butt-kisser? Why does he give Adam and Eve such vague hope, "a paradise within thee, happier far"? WHY IS SATAN SO CHARISMATIC WHEN HE IS SUPPOSE TO BE THE BAD GUY? I am not sure we get the answers to these questions unless we look very close, I am of those that rather remain with the questions. “All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.” We are made to sympathize with the Devil, but we are also to know that doing so is wrong, and that no man should align themselves with him. The debate is left to us, we make the final choice, and choosing wrong will lead us down a similar path to Lucifer. MILTON WAS NOT A SATANIST, HE JUST WROTE A MAGNIFICENT VILLAIN ONCE AND PEOPLE HAVE NEVER LET IT DIE! Now look at this description of God's creation: “And of the sixth day yet remained There wanted yet the master work, the end Of all yet done: a creature who not prone And brute as other creatures but endued With sanctity of reason might erect His stature and, upright with front serene, Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven, But grateful to acknowledge whence his good Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes Directed in devotion to adore And worship God supreme who made him chief Of all His works.” Better Than Food: Book Reviews did an incredible review, it is my favourite for this book so far: John Milton - Paradise Lost The images used here were drawn by Gustave Doré, they are most beautiful. He also did Dante's Inferno and The Rime of The Ancient Mariner, all equal in beauty.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed

    توجد بعض الأعمال التي يليق بها القداسة حتى ولو لم تكن من طرف الإله , وإلا لماذا أقسم الله في محكم آياته بما يسطر القلم فقال : (ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ) , فالله يعلم أن من البشر من سيسطر أعمال تستحق التخليد والتعظيم أكثر مما يستحق سواها . للحق : حاولت مرارًا وتكرارًا أن أكتب شئ عن هذا العمل , أن أُخرج فيه ما يليق بعظمته و جلاله. ولكن هناك من الأعمال من وُجدت لتسيطر على عقولنا وتأخذنا معها لعالم آخر , عالم لن نصله إلا عبر سحر خاص , سحر الكلمة وما أعظمه من سحر. الملاحم يا سادة وُجدت لتسطر الت توجد بعض الأعمال التي يليق بها القداسة حتى ولو لم تكن من طرف الإله , وإلا لماذا أقسم الله في محكم آياته بما يسطر القلم فقال : (ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ) , فالله يعلم أن من البشر من سيسطر أعمال تستحق التخليد والتعظيم أكثر مما يستحق سواها . للحق : حاولت مرارًا وتكرارًا أن أكتب شئ عن هذا العمل , أن أُخرج فيه ما يليق بعظمته و جلاله. ولكن هناك من الأعمال من وُجدت لتسيطر على عقولنا وتأخذنا معها لعالم آخر , عالم لن نصله إلا عبر سحر خاص , سحر الكلمة وما أعظمه من سحر. الملاحم يا سادة وُجدت لتسطر التاريخ الإنساني , ليس فقط تاريخ حضاراته وحروبه , بل حتى تاريخ نشأته وتكوينه , ومراحل خلقه الأولى مذ كان في الجنة وخدعه الشيطان ليُعاقب بالنزول إلى الأرض. ملحمة ملهمة عظيمة قوية ساحرة مبهرة أخاّذة بكل ما تحمله الكلمات من معنى , نوعية الكتب التي لا تجد ما يفيها عظمتها , ولو وُجدت معاني عظيمة , فهي وُجدت لتصف عظمتها.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Paradise Lost, John Milton تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزهای سال 2001 میلادی عنوان: بهشت گمشده - سه کتاب؛ نویسنده: جان میلتون؛ مترجم: شجاع الدین شفا؛ 1379؛ عنوان: بهشت گمشده - سه کتاب؛ نویسنده: جان میلتون؛ مترجم: فریده مهدوی دامغانی؛ تهران، تیر، 1379؛ در سه جلد؛ چاپ دوم 1383؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ شابک دوره: 9646581455؛ چاپ چهارم 1387؛ شابک: 9786008817185؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، ذهن آویز، 1393؛ چاپ پنجم 1396؛ موضوع: شعر شاعران انگلیسی - قرن 17 م ص 481، دفتر نخست سطر 20: نخست تو سخن گوی! زیرا نه آسمان، نه گستره Paradise Lost, John Milton تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزهای سال 2001 میلادی عنوان: بهشت گمشده - سه کتاب؛ نویسنده: جان میلتون؛ مترجم: شجاع الدین شفا؛ 1379؛ عنوان: بهشت گمشده - سه کتاب؛ نویسنده: جان میلتون؛ مترجم: فریده مهدوی دامغانی؛ تهران، تیر، 1379؛ در سه جلد؛ چاپ دوم 1383؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ شابک دوره: 9646581455؛ چاپ چهارم 1387؛ شابک: 9786008817185؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، ذهن آویز، 1393؛ چاپ پنجم 1396؛ موضوع: شعر شاعران انگلیسی - قرن 17 م ص 481، دفتر نخست سطر 20: نخست تو سخن گوی! زیرا نه آسمان، نه گستره ی ژرف دوزخ، هیچ چیز را، از برابر دیدگانت، پوشیده نمیدارند! بگو چه چیزی موجب شد که نیاکان گرامی ما را، همچنان که بس مورد لطف و رحمت الهی قرار داشتند، و بر سراسر عالم فرمانروا بودند، از آن وطن که سراسر خوشبختی بود، بیرون راند، وز آفریننده ی خود جدا ماندند؟ آیا تنها بدان سبب که به اراده ی او در رعایت ممنوعیت آن میوه، سر ننهادند، و از فرمان او سرپیچی کردند؟ ...؛ چه کسی آنان را به این شورش شرم آور وسوسه کرد؟ مار دوزخی ....! همو بود که شرارت، که با حسادت و انتقامجویی اش جان میگرفت، مادر نوع بشر را فریفت، غروری که وی را به همراه خیل ابلیسیان نافرمان عصیانگرش، از فراز آسمان به پایین افکنده بود ا. شربیانی

  17. 5 out of 5

    Agir(آگِر)

    از خود کتاب زیاد لذت نبردم ولی توضیحات مترجم در مورد اطلاعات تاریخی و مذهبی خوب بود. در نتیجه فقط یکی بحث های جالب کتاب را در اینجا می آورم :مسئله غامض جبر و اختیار آدمی جان میلتون در دفتر سوم می گوید: عقل اساس انتخاب است و خدا از اطاعت کورکوانه بندگانش و فقط در خدمت الزام، احساس خرسندی ندارد و بخاطر همین آفریدگان را آزاد آفریده است و علم لدنی خداوند هیچگونه اثری در گناهی که انسان ها خواهند کرد ندارد اما مترجم در توضیحات چیز دیگری می گوید: معلوم نیست چطور انسان در ارتکاب گناهی اختیار دارد که خدا از خود کتاب زیاد لذت نبردم ولی توضیحات مترجم در مورد اطلاعات تاریخی و مذهبی خوب بود. در نتیجه فقط یکی بحث های جالب کتاب را در اینجا می آورم :مسئله غامض جبر و اختیار آدمی جان میلتون در دفتر سوم می گوید: عقل اساس انتخاب است و خدا از اطاعت کورکوانه بندگانش و فقط در خدمت الزام، احساس خرسندی ندارد و بخاطر همین آفریدگان را آزاد آفریده است و علم لدنی خداوند هیچگونه اثری در گناهی که انسان ها خواهند کرد ندارد اما مترجم در توضیحات چیز دیگری می گوید: معلوم نیست چطور انسان در ارتکاب گناهی اختیار دارد که خداوند،پیش از وقوع حتمی آن وقوف داشته و عواقب آن را به چشم می دیده است و اگر آدم توانسته است به اختیار خود از آن سر باز زند،در این صورت علم آن کس که واقف السر و الخفیات است باطل می شده است :این همان سخن خیام است می خوردن من ز ازل می دانست گر می نخورم علم خدا جهل بود و حافظ با نزاکت تمام مسئله اختیار را مورد تخطئه قرار می دهد گناه گرچه نبود اختیار ما حافظ !تو در طریق ادب کوش و گو گناه من است در قرآن به کرات از این موضوع و با صراحت سخن رفته است و یادمه در کتاب غروب فرشتگان، ارمنی هایی که قرآن خوانده بودند مسلمانان را طبق آیات قرآن، جبری می دانستند هر مصیبتی که در زمین یا از نفس خودتان به شما رسد همه در لوح محفوظ پیش از آنکه دنیا را آفریده باشیم ثبت بوده است سوره حدید،آیه 22 خداوند هر کس را بخواهد هدایت، و هر که را بخواهد، گمراه می کند النور،آیه 46 و حتی به پیامبرش می‌فرماید: چنین نیست که هر کس را تو بخواهی هدایت شود، بلکه هر کس را که خدا بخواهد هدایت می‌شود القصص،آیه 56 در تورات هم آیات مشابهی در این باره آمده است

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I still have my old grad school copy of this work, earnestly annotated with references to Ovid and Homer and (once) Terminator 2. But through all that Milton's words shine forth, depicting the struggle between good and evil, which is a struggle precisely because Satan is so alluring and interesting (by far the most interesting character here, which of course didn't escape the notice of later Romantic writers who were themselves drawn to the anti-hero). But the struggle isn't just between mythic I still have my old grad school copy of this work, earnestly annotated with references to Ovid and Homer and (once) Terminator 2. But through all that Milton's words shine forth, depicting the struggle between good and evil, which is a struggle precisely because Satan is so alluring and interesting (by far the most interesting character here, which of course didn't escape the notice of later Romantic writers who were themselves drawn to the anti-hero). But the struggle isn't just between mythic forces, but within the human heart itself, which is what gives the work its under-girding of tender sadness--like the outcry of the "Portress of Hell Gate," who laments in Book II: "Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem / Now in thine eye so foul, once deemed so fair / In Heav'n...." It's a tale of loss (obviously) and jealousy and narcissism (cue the Ovid references) and it's really quite unexpectedly heart-breaking at times, though I'll admit the poetry can be dense and difficult and full of allusions, which is perhaps why it didn't become a "classic" until a few decades after publication when someone produced an annotated version. Still, this is a work that can be enjoyed on its own terms--a self-consciously grand epic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elie F

    Paradise Lost: the failed divorce of an unhappy marriage? Adam and Eve lived a comfortable yet boring married life that pleased Adam well, but Eve was unhappy with the inequality in the marriage: Why is he enjoying conversations with angels and proximity with God while I stay at home preparing dinner? She enjoyed the love of Adam but gradually she became ever more disinterested in Adam and would rather talk to her own image mirrored in lake. Then one day the unhappy housewife encountered sexy, in Paradise Lost: the failed divorce of an unhappy marriage? Adam and Eve lived a comfortable yet boring married life that pleased Adam well, but Eve was unhappy with the inequality in the marriage: Why is he enjoying conversations with angels and proximity with God while I stay at home preparing dinner? She enjoyed the love of Adam but gradually she became ever more disinterested in Adam and would rather talk to her own image mirrored in lake. Then one day the unhappy housewife encountered sexy, intelligent Satan in the form of a serpent who encouraged her to eat the forbidden fruit which would elevate her intelligence and make her marriage with Adam more equal. After tasting the fruit herself, she felt that "Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe" so she brought the fruit to Adam who was devastated by his wife's transgression but chose to side with his wife over God, side with domestic happiness over socio-political duties. But soon Adam regretted the transgression and blamed it on Eve: "Out of my sight, thou serpent, that name best befits thee with him leagued, thyself as false and hateful...O why did God, creator wise, that peopled highest heaven with spirits masculine, create heaven with spirits masculine, create at last this novelty on earth, this fair defect of nature, and not fill the world at once with men as angels without feminine, or find some other way to generate Mankind?" After a "Men Going Their Own Way" monologue, Adam recognized that Eve was all he had now, and they decided to repent and stick with their old lifestyle in hope of a better life. Despite mutual dissatisfaction, the marriage continued, but the abyss between them was evident: "They hand in hand with wandering steps and slow, through Eden took their solitary way." Family is a microcosm of society in general, and it is through the dissolution of the institution of a family that humankind lost paradise.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    Let's face it, John Milton was a closet devil-worshiper. Satan here is presented so sympathetically it's hard to think otherwise. He has the best lines, and even his actions would be laudable by most Christian standards (excepting, of course, starting a war in heaven). He never gives up, he fights for what he believes in, he's really clever, and he even pities humans for having to be his tools to get back at God. The good angels come off as such sissies and are always really smug and self-satisf Let's face it, John Milton was a closet devil-worshiper. Satan here is presented so sympathetically it's hard to think otherwise. He has the best lines, and even his actions would be laudable by most Christian standards (excepting, of course, starting a war in heaven). He never gives up, he fights for what he believes in, he's really clever, and he even pities humans for having to be his tools to get back at God. The good angels come off as such sissies and are always really smug and self-satisfied and say things like, "Yeah Satan, I know you're a lot better than me at everything, but remember my dad is God and if you hit me he's going to kick your ass." Gabriel and Michael are real assholes, and it makes me feel sad that Satan doesn't whip up on them some more. This book is incredibly awesome but a litle dense. It's super sweet and kick ass but you have to sit down and really spend some time with it, and you'll have to read it pretty slow. I've never understod blank verse so I just read it like prose.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Milton's epic tale of the fall and redemption of humanity 18 September 2011 With the exception of Shakespeare this, I believe, is the greatest work of English Literature. Paradise Lost tells the story, in epic poetic form, of the fall of mankind as outlined in Genesis 1-3. While the story is constricted to the opening chapters of the Bible, the scope of the story itself is much wider and encompasses all of human history (at least up until the death and resurrection of Christ). In fact, it is the Milton's epic tale of the fall and redemption of humanity 18 September 2011 With the exception of Shakespeare this, I believe, is the greatest work of English Literature. Paradise Lost tells the story, in epic poetic form, of the fall of mankind as outlined in Genesis 1-3. While the story is constricted to the opening chapters of the Bible, the scope of the story itself is much wider and encompasses all of human history (at least up until the death and resurrection of Christ). In fact, it is the death and resurrection of Christ that forms the pivotal turning point of the poem, though it is the fall of humanity that is reason for the redemption that is the poem's focus. A friend of mine once said that Satan that was the main character in the poem and our sympathies were to lie with him. This I cannot disagree with more. Milton was a puritan and it was not his intention to create Satan as a sympathetic character. He wanted to create a poem with a scope that was equivalent to the Odyssey, and while Satan does appear often in the poem, it is very clear that he is the villain of the piece. The central character is Christ, though he does appear to sit in the background a lot, but despite this we are always brought back to him and to his redeeming work. Like the Odyssey, Paradise Lost does not begin at the beginning, but rather after Satan's fall and his plans on wrecking God's creation. At the beginning, Earth has already been created and humanity already exists. However, like the Odyssey, the events that occur before, and after, this part of the play are narrated to us by the archangel Michael (as he tells Adam the past and the future). It is the fall of humanity upon which the play turns, and this can be seen where there is a sexual liaison between Adam and Eve both before and after this event. Like Homer, when Milton wrote the play he was blind and it is said that he narrated the play to his daughter. This raises the question as to whether it really is an epic or not. Some have said that it is a written epic, however Milton himself did not write the poem (just as the Odyssey was originally an oral tale that was written down, many believed by Homer). So, it can be argued that the poem is truly an epic for this one point. However, the poem itself was crafted by Milton, and there was not a period prior to him when the poem was recited orally. It is clear from the play that Milton was a Christian in that his focus is on the grace of God. When humanity falls, God does not want to destroy them, but knows that because he is just,punishment must be dealt. However, Christ steps in and says that he will take the punishment in their place. As such, grace is a major theme that runs throughout the poem and we are reminded that it is through grace that Christ offers himself up on the cross. As such this is not a play that is intended to exonerate and makes us sympathetic towards Satan but to remind us of where we have come from and what Christ's death really means. I must admit, though, the poetic form, and the language used, makes the play very hard to follow, though I wonder if it could be converted into dramatic form. Maybe it is possible, maybe it is not, however I have not encountered anything as such yet. Milton did write a sequel, Paradise Regained, however this poem does not need a sequel as everything that the poem needs to say, of the fall and the redemption, is within the poem itself.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Incendiaryrose

    I hope no fan of Milton ever reads this review. And if you are a fan of Milton, go find one of many other reviews that will be a little better to your liking. Had I read this book with the perspective of a student, or perhaps even as a potential instructor, I suspect my view of the twelve-book poem would have been far more favorable. As it was, I did not. Rather I read it as myself, a person who is rather sarcastic and critical of most things, but especially continuity errors. I found myself stumb I hope no fan of Milton ever reads this review. And if you are a fan of Milton, go find one of many other reviews that will be a little better to your liking. Had I read this book with the perspective of a student, or perhaps even as a potential instructor, I suspect my view of the twelve-book poem would have been far more favorable. As it was, I did not. Rather I read it as myself, a person who is rather sarcastic and critical of most things, but especially continuity errors. I found myself stumbling not on the poetry, but on such things as the lengthy description of the pantheon of pandemonium being made with mined gold, wrought with comments on greed and how all those who look for such riches are doomed. This is impressed rather heavily, to be followed by the sun being made with gold and precious gems, heaven being full of similar wealth, and even Christ's chariot of 'sparkles dire' is studded with precious stones and capped with a sapphire throne (book six, line 750 starts you off on the description of the chariot). Were I reading this as a student, I could probably make excuses for the different standards of wealth. I could probably even attempt to justify why Adam and Eve seem to gain absolutely nothing from eating the fruit of knowledge. Adam says often beforehand how working in the garden is good. They are told of Satan's presence in the garden and recognize this as being something to fear. Thus, they know of good and evil. After the fruit, the only alteration is a lustful interlude, to be followed by argument over it. Another angelic intervention where they are told everything to come, and they wander away in sorrowful hope. The Angels are thus the ones who are conveyors of knowledge, not the fruit of knowledge. And so, with Milton, it might as well be the Fruit of Lust and Damnation. As it stands, and as I have read it, Paradise Lost was not what I would call an enjoyable work. I find no great epiphanies in it, or divine inspiration. I find a great deal of misogyny and even more references to classical myths that, if I didn't know it was perfectly fine in Milton's time to interweave Christianity and Greco-Roman myth, I would find a bit off. In total, it read like a rather bad biblical fanfiction with heavy crossover. That being said, Paradise Lost is still a good work to read. For even if it strains my patience and sarcasm, it also gives an excellent perspective on quite a few quotes and characterizations that were to come after. In a way, the book is less important than what people have done with it over the years.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fernando

    La lucha entre Dios y Lucifer ("El que lleva la luz") explicada mucho mejor que en la mismísima Biblia. Milton terminó dictándole este libro a sus hijas ya ciego con una imaginería propia de los grandes genios de la literatura. Unos de mis preferidos.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Pearce

    WOW! I had never read Milton until I was forced to in my Chaucer/Shakespeare/Milton class and I was blown away! I absolutely loved this epic poem! Milton was the best educated man in England at this time. He spoke or read every European language and even dabbled in Algonquin. He was part of the Cromwell government and wrote a lot of political tracts that contain the roots of much of the political philosophy that is the foundation of our country. In a scathing political pamphlet called The Tenure WOW! I had never read Milton until I was forced to in my Chaucer/Shakespeare/Milton class and I was blown away! I absolutely loved this epic poem! Milton was the best educated man in England at this time. He spoke or read every European language and even dabbled in Algonquin. He was part of the Cromwell government and wrote a lot of political tracts that contain the roots of much of the political philosophy that is the foundation of our country. In a scathing political pamphlet called The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, Milton wrote, “all men naturally were born free, being the image and resemblance of God himself…and they lived so until from the root of Adam’s transgression, falling among themselves to doe wrong and violence…they agreed by common league to bind each other from mutual injury." Milton believed very strongly that governments were necessary to protect men from their own vices, but that the “power of the Kings…is nothing else, but what is onely derivative, transferred and committed to them in trust from the people, to the common good of them all, in whom the power yet remains fundamentally." While this concept of executive power is widely accepted in western society today, it was far from the mainstream for seventeenth century England; where the prevailing philosophy was that the king’s right to rule came from God alone. One of the many purposes of Paradise Lost was a medium through which Milton could present his radical political views. In it he argues that men should ideally rule themselves in small familial groups, but because of men’s vices, they must set up stronger governmental systems. He uses Satan, whom he associates with Charles II, as the model of power unrighteously wielded, and sets up Christ as the model of proper authority. In book four, Milton describes Adam and Eve’s character before the fall, “Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure / Severe, but in true filial freedom placed / Whence true authority in men." Eve is submissive to Adam (at first) and, because Adam is submissive to God, he rules gently and correctly over Eve. In this state, men are in a state of freedom. A natural hierarchy exists in the patriarchal order of the family. It is the “true authority of men” because it mirrors man’s relationship with God. Later, in book twelve, Milton makes this point clearer as Michael shows to Adam the decedents of Noah who “Shall spend their days in joy unblamed and dwell / Long time in peace by families and tribes / Under paternal rule." Milton sees this natural paternal order as the idyllic form of governing mankind, and the one that allows the most freedom and peace for the individual. Of course this peaceful set up cannot last, and in the very next sentence Nimrod “arrogates dominion undeserved” to himself and becomes the first King. This new form of authority is a rebellion from the natural power structure of family rule. It makes the many people on the bottom of the hierarchy slaves to the few on top. While this argument could be brought against most rulers throughout history, Milton implicates Charles II specifically in this description of Nimrod by saying, “from rebellion shall derive his name / Though of rebellion others he accuse." This refers to the restoration of Charles to the throne after the Commonwealth collapsed, after which many of the leaders of Cromwell’s government were hanged as traitorous rebels. Throughout Paradise Lost, Milton makes clear that he is not just critiquing monarchy, but Charles II in particular. He goes so far as to associate Charles with Satan himself. For example, in book one, Milton describes Charles’ heady lifestyle in connection with Satan's brood, “In courts and palaces he also reigns / And in luxurious cities where the noise / Of riot ascends above their loftiest tow’rs…witness the streets of Sodom." Although Milton surely disapproved of this sort of heady living, it is not the main reason that he condemned Charles’ authority. It is Charles’ claim to divine right that so irks Milton, and he uses Satan to show how spurious this claim is, “Me though just right and the fixed laws of Heav’n / Did first create your leader." Later, Adam counters this assertion with Milton’s sentiments, “But man over men / He made not lord, such title to himself / Reserving” (XII.69-71). Book five shows that Satan assembled his crew of demons with the intent that they would help him get what he wanted. In fact, he assembled his leadership together under the false story that they were going to have a council on how best to “receive our King / The great Messiah. He has no thought of the wellbeing of those who follow him, but instead beguiles them with “counterfeited truth” to fight so that Satan can become as God. Satan does not serve them, they serve him; and follow him to their eternal damnation. For Milton, the real evil in monarchy is that inevitably the king will stop seeing himself as the servant of the people, and begin seeing the people as his servants. Compare this to the approach that The Son takes. Christ willingly accepts the role as savior to mankind; knowing that it will mean his death as God’s sacrificial lamb. It is only after this acceptance to be the servant of men that God gives Christ his divine authority: “Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt / With Thee thy manhood also to this throne…All power I give thee." According to this model, an executive should have as his motivation the welfare of the people over whom he lords. It is only through his service to the people that he receives and maintains authority. This is the model that Milton would have earthly governments follow; and if the executive of the nation, whatever title he may bear, does not serve the good of the people, they have the right to select one who will. Though the Commonwealth for which Milton argued so strongly eventually failed, he, like Christ, found a greater victory in defeat. Milton’s political views espoused in Paradise Lost eventually won over England and most of western society. Thomas Paine used very similar verbiage in his extremely influential political tract Common Sense “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.” And then later he says. “Here then is the rise and origin of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world.” This is the philosophical bedrock of the concept of a limited government. The idea that powers of government ought to be limited to only that which the people cannot do themselves, and to let people govern themselves as much as possible, is one of the foundational philosophies of the Republican Party today. One can even read Milton in our Declaration of Independence, “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it.” The reach of his work has far surpassed the “fit…though few” audience he envisioned for it. It is a part of our everyday lives. I can’t say whether this idea originated with Milton, but his inclusion of it in Paradise Lost, with its widespread sway in England and here in the US, gave it great influence; which we still feel today. Beyond his political views I was astounded at his theology. I agreed with the vast majority of his doctrinal positions including a trinity of seperate indivduals; God the Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost (whom he invokes as the muse in good epic fasion). Jesus and several archangels make the earth under the direction of the Father. Satan rebels because of pride and attempts to usurp the Father's athourity, taking a third of the angels of heaven with him. Christ was chosen as the savior in a council in heaven. Men can only be forgiven through the stonement of Christ and through personal repentance...I could go on. He was so ahead of his time in this arena as well. The last thing I wanted to mention was his use of Satan playing the classical hero. Satatn displays the atributes of a classical hero along the lines of Odysseus, and Achiles. Milton does this so that he can show what true heroism is; as modeled by Christ. For Milton the true hero was humble, a servant of the people (which was his ideal for a governmental executive), and found his stregnth in obedience to god's will. He shows throughout the book how the new Christian heroic model is superior to the old classical model of physical prowess, cunning deception, and courtly lover. (for more on this subject I recommend Steadman's Milton and the Renaissance Hero.) It's to bad that Milton is no longer read today as much as it was from the time he wrote it to the twentieth century. It is a true classic, and contains so much that is foundational to our culture still today. If you need help on all of the allusions and classical references in Pardise Lost I recommend this website sponsored by Dartmouth College http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/read... It was very helpful with some of the obscure references.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Huda Yahya

    No Idea why this part gets me every damn time! O, for that warning voice, which he, who saw The Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud, Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be revenged on men, Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now, While time was, our first parents had been warned The coming of their secret foe, and 'scaped, Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare: For now Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down, The tempter ere the accuser of mankind, To wreak on in No Idea why this part gets me every damn time! O, for that warning voice, which he, who saw‏ ‏ The Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud‏, ‏ Then when the Dragon, put to second rout‏, ‏ Came furious down to be revenged on men‏, ‏ Woe to the inhabitants on earth! that now‏, ‏ While time was, our first parents had been warned‏ ‏ The coming of their secret foe, and 'scaped‏, ‏ Haply so 'scaped his mortal snare: For now‏ ‏ Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down‏, ‏ The tempter ere the accuser of mankind‏, ‏ To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss‏ ‏ Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell‏: ‏ Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold‏ ‏ Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast‏, ‏ Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth‏ ‏ Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast‏, ‏ And like a devilish engine back recoils‏ ‏ Upon himself; horrour and doubt distract‏ ‏ His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir‏ ‏ The Hell within him; for within him Hell‏ ‏ He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell‏ ‏ One step, no more than from himself, can fly‏ ‏ By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair‏, ‏ That slumbered; wakes the bitter memory‏ ‏ Of what he was, what is, and what must be‏ ‏ Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue‏. ‏ Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view‎‏ ‏ Lay pleasant, his grieved look he fixes sad‏; ‏ Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing sun‏, ‏ Which now sat high in his meridian tower‏: ‏ Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began‏. ‏ O thou, that, with surpassing glory crowned‏, ‏ Lookest from thy sole dominion like the God‏ ‏ Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars‏ ‏ Hide their diminished heads; to thee I call‏, ‏ But with no friendly voice, and add thy name‏, ‏ Of Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams‏, ‏ That bring to my remembrance from what state‏ ‏ I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere‏; ‏ Till pride and worse ambition threw me down‏ ‏ Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless King‏: ‏ Ah, wherefore! he deserved no such return‏ ‏ From me, whom he created what I was‏ ‏ In that bright eminence, and with his good‏ ‏ Upbraided none; nor was his service hard‏.‏

  26. 4 out of 5

    J. Sebastian

    Upon arrival at the last page of this epic story, a rich symphony of beauty, expressing the loss of Paradise in gorgeous arrangements of language wherein each word is precisely chosen, I am left, book in hand, contemplating the rich tapestry of song that Milton has woven on the loom of English heroic verse; the finished whole is vast in its sweep and exquisite in its details. I am stunned by its beauty, and left speechless as I follow Adam out of Eden, ruddy with a majestic glow in expectation o Upon arrival at the last page of this epic story, a rich symphony of beauty, expressing the loss of Paradise in gorgeous arrangements of language wherein each word is precisely chosen, I am left, book in hand, contemplating the rich tapestry of song that Milton has woven on the loom of English heroic verse; the finished whole is vast in its sweep and exquisite in its details. I am stunned by its beauty, and left speechless as I follow Adam out of Eden, ruddy with a majestic glow in expectation of the birth and return of our loving King. Milton knew ten languages (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, English, Italian, French, Spanish, & Dutch). Paradise Lost is full of Linguistic and literary allusions; Milton avails himself both of the words and the syntax of other languages, and makes purposeful allusions to famous passages in other books. As a minor example in Book I. 34-36, John Leonard points out the possibility of a pun in the Latin derivative deceived: Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived the mother of mankind, with 'dis-Eved' (cross-linguistic wordplay with the Hebrew chava 'life' (Eve), and thus conveying the meaning 'un-lifed', 'deprived of life'). This is in fact, trademark Miltonic multilingual artistry. Milton relishes in his languages, and uses them to great effect. This is a very small and isolated example of the gems of linguistic virtuosity that lie waiting to be discovered by the astute and careful reader as the song progresses and unfolds. In Milton's Languages, John Hale argues that Milton's choice to write in English––in an age when Latin is still the obvious choice to ensure a wide audience––was motivated by the fact that English was, among all his languages, the one that allowed for the greatest versatility in this manner of interlinguistic and intertextual allusiveness. The final work, wherein English seemlessly adopts Latin word order and idiom is a masterpiece, and places Milton eternally in the traditional line with the other great epic poets of the west: Homer (Greek), Ennius & Vergil (Latin), Dante (Italian), Milton (English). An English contemporary of Milton writes of him with national pride and affection thus: Græcia Mæonidem, jactet sibi Roma Maronem Anglia Miltonum jactat utrique parem. Let Greece her Homer, Rome her Vergil boast. England boasts her Milton equal to them both. Milton is another reason I am happy to have learned English young; he celebrated his native English, addressing it thus with love Hail native Language, that by sinews weak Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak, and chose it for the language of his glorious and majestic English epic. Every English speaker should someday read it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Hadrian

    A grand sprawling epic. I can't possibly say anything good about it that has not already been repeated. I am fortunate enough to have a brand new edition with lots of annotations and references. Layers upon layers of allegory and myth and history and religion and fable. Deserves infinite rereadings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    Paradise Lost builds upon a tradition of epic poetry begun with the work of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey. I have held back from fully reviewing this work for a while but I feel that I can at least provide a decent review at this stage. I first read Paradise Lost when one of my teachers recommended it during a devotional session at school. I knew nothing about the work prior to this mention, but being the dedicated reader that I am I knew any book recommended by a teacher as being for me woul Paradise Lost builds upon a tradition of epic poetry begun with the work of Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey. I have held back from fully reviewing this work for a while but I feel that I can at least provide a decent review at this stage. I first read Paradise Lost when one of my teachers recommended it during a devotional session at school. I knew nothing about the work prior to this mention, but being the dedicated reader that I am I knew any book recommended by a teacher as being for me would likely be academic or literary. Part of me was interested in the book because of the connotation and the status of reading a complex work of fiction. Part of me was intrigued by the idea of a classic reinterpretation of the tale of The Garden of Eden. So I read Paradise Lost and I will admit that I found it trickier than any text I had tried before. I found it trickier than the translations of Homer I recently read as though it was written in English it has a level of complexity and density to the poetry which is unique and brilliant. When I first read the poem I was blown away by the use of metaphor and other symbolism. I was stunned by the language itself, beautifully archaic and yet still relevant for modern readers. In my eyes Paradise Lost is one of the great works of all time that should be read by any serious reader. The fact that the author composed it while blind adds a little to the legend surrounding the poem but it is the poem itself which has survived across time and it is the poem which is magnificent. I recommend reading Paradise Lost because of its status as a literary monument. Many, many texts reference it, including from memory Frankenstein. I recommend reading it for the beautiful language and the story, the themes of which are universally fascinating. I recommend reading it because you like the idea of reading it. Whatever reason you can devise for reading it I encourage you to find some time and read it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Windy Pineda

    Otra vez creo que he pecado de elegir la versión larguísima, pero es un hermoso relato. Este tipo de narración era la que esperaba encontrar cuando me decidí a leer The History of the Devil As Well Ancient as Modern: In Two Parts de Daniel Defoe, pero que no le llega ni a los talones a esta obra. Recomendada sólo para aquellos que disfrutan de una obra detallada, rica en diálogos y estrechamente vinculada a la historia bíblica.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    One of those books that I bought and kept intending to read but didn’t. I frequently put this in my physical “immediate to-read” stack of books, but eyed it like a rattlesnake and by the time I’d worked my way down the pile to it, sighed and put it back on the shelf, convinced that like Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” this was something I needed to take a class on to like and complete. I’m glad I forced myself to actually start it though! It’s much less challenging than I expected it to be. And I’m sup One of those books that I bought and kept intending to read but didn’t. I frequently put this in my physical “immediate to-read” stack of books, but eyed it like a rattlesnake and by the time I’d worked my way down the pile to it, sighed and put it back on the shelf, convinced that like Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” this was something I needed to take a class on to like and complete. I’m glad I forced myself to actually start it though! It’s much less challenging than I expected it to be. And I’m super susceptible to books humanizing the villain, and also to books centered on religion (I’m addicted to God without actually believing he exists. He’s my play-pretend Fisher Price heroin, basically). And, you know, I love the idea of someone finally rebelling against the dictatorship God has, and being described admiringly for such. In the Old Testament, only stupid or selfish people do this, even when God is being alarmingly cruel or astonishingly dim himself. Fuck tha police, right? Rampant “women are the source of all evil but they’re also children so they’re not responsible for their wickedness” (“thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven”) but that’s to be expected. No less annoying for that, though. Satan’s really a beautiful character- arrogant as hell but also compassionate towards his fellows, remorseful about bringing them into his mess, and he weeps for them. And he’s a rousing pre-Marxist orator. You can practically see the red banner snapping in the wind behind him. Near the, uh, you know, lake of flaming sulfur. His soliloquy at the beginning of book 4 (where he laments his own nature and wallows in guilt and self-hatred but resolves that he did what he thought right, and that he shouldn’t submit to a tyrant) is absolutely riveting and human and full of emotion. If Milton’s Lucifer is all passion- good and bad, deep love and fierce anger, savage vengefulness and greed and selfishness but also mercy and powerful love, too- then his God is all dispassion, all cold detachment and fair to a fault, unswervingly just. Justice without mercy, blind justice which does not feel. Need I say who I prefer? +1 to Milton for introducing me to my new favourite word (“impurpled”).

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