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FREE: Paradise Lost by John Milton Download and Review

The blind Milton beautifully captures what he believes in relation to the creation story.

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Meticulously edited, full of tactful annotations that set the stage for his work and his times, this edition brings Milton, as a poet and a thinker, vividly alive before us. - Robert Hass, winner of the National Book Award.

In this landmark edition, teachers will discover a powerful ally in bringing the excitement of Milton s poetry and prose to new generations of students. - William C. Dowling, Rutgers University

This magnificent edition gives us everything we need to read Milton intelligently and with fresh perception. - William H. Pritchard, Amherst College

Paradise Lost by John MiltonParadise Lost by John Milton (fiction)
John Milton (Author)
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Reviews from Amazon:

I rank Milton's talents which are at their very best in Paradise Lost with the all time greats of English and world literature. For centuries poets spoke of their admiration for Milton and Shakespeare as the English classics, a position he unfairly lost and to whom we can thank the feeble likes of Leavis. 

The epic follows the events surrounding the biblical story in genesis of the fall of man. For his epic Milton introduces the war in Heaven between the faithful and the follows of Satan; the latter entering the Serpent and seducing Eve and the couple eventual expulsion from Eden. A dry summary of what is written in the most elevated verse. Theological issues are fleshed out through the story and it is so pliable to interpretation. 

Shelley who was an Atheist (and annoying) thought it highlighted the incongruities in the Orthodox Christian God, Blake thought Milton was of the Devil's party without knowing it and C.S.Lewis found it a pillar of Orthodox Christendom. I'm with Blake. No figure comes of especially well from the me-lee. Satan wallows in his own spite and God seems like an unimpassioned lawyer, whereas Adam and Eve feel like victims of two sides and ultimately God. 

Please don't be put off feeling its some kind of anti-religious propaganda -you can still believe in an impersonal God, read Jung,realise Hindu's see evil as part of the Ultimate Deity Brahman's nature and hosts of other ideologies didn't develop the Western fixation of making God just a big superman with a benevolent beard, I prefer a God with a dark side- I write all this because I don't want anyone to pass up the chance of reading this. As well as theology Milton tackles politics. It isn't difficult to see how someone who supported the regicide of Charles I, had an office in Cromwell's republic could have depicted the tension and difficulties between the King of Heaven and his Rebel opponent who is a mixture of admirable and reprehensible qualities.

All in all I think Milton is a writer of epics who sits comfortably on my shelf by Dante, Homer, Virgil and an English dramatist whose name escapes me.
As Blake so rightly says, Milton's Satan is the true hero of PL - however unwittingly and however horrified Milton might have been to think it. Rebellious, over-reaching, full of pride and arrogance, he yet leaps off the page at us with his intelligence and his rhetoric and his plots.

In a way it's not that surprising: taking classical epic as his model, Milton creates an anti-hero in the mould of Achilles, also driven by pride and the urge to impose himself on his world. One of the many pleasures of Milton's great narrative poem is precisely the identifications of classical epic conventions and the innovative uses to which he puts them.

It seems it's not fashionable to read poetry these days, especially not narrative poetry (as opposed to `personal' lyric) but it's a huge shame to miss out on writing as thrilling as Milton's. With his great rolling sentences and complex diction it might take a little while to get into his rhythm but the effort is well worth it. From the opening scene where Satan and his minions are thrown out of heaven, to the quiet ending as Adam and Eve walk hand in hand away from Eden, Paradise Lost truly is a reading experience to savour.
A work almost without parallel in terms of length and epic nature, the blind Milton beautifully captures what he believes in relation to the creation story. Using a blend of Greek myth from his extensive knowledge of classical literature, polemic verse which is at times intoxicating (particularly in the presentation of the quasi-hero Satan), and his own religious convictions, Milton presents at once a complex and enthralling tale. 

It also seems to reveal his inner difficulties with the subject matter, as the many fascinating contradictions regarding pre destination and Adam and Eve¡¦s position as free beings suggest. William Blake pointed out that the ease which Milton found talking about Satan instead of God suggested that he was like many other poets, ¡¥of the devils party without knowing it.¡¦ To read it is a pleasure devotedly to be wished (the best version is probably the Penguin Classics), but expect to be challenged and provoked in equal measure. This edition is without a doubt the best you can buy, with an outstanding introduction.

The Notes at the back of the book are nearly always insightful and useful, and try as much as possible to be accurate about the possibly source for each of Milton¡¦s numerous literary references, most of them to the Classical authors and to Greek mythology. Highly Recommended.

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