Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained
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Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Paradise #1-2)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,534 ratings  ·  115 reviews

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 -

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Published (first published 1671)
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Katie Muffett
Jan 30, 2008 Katie Muffett rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't read the Bible
Recommended to Katie by: uh, everyone? ever?
This book must be removed from high school syllabi immediately, and become the reserve only of those who can truly appreciate it. No teenager has ever been capable of grasping the infinite layers of brilliance in these poems, and it is doing the work a disservice to dessimate it into Cliff's Notes. I adore Milton so much that if he were to punch me in the boobs after each page of Paradise Lost/Regained, I would keep turning and turning until the bittersweet end.
Ken Moten
[*I won't mark spoilers but will assume that if you read this you have read Paradise Lost or know the story of the creation of the world and the fall of man as recounted in the book of Genesis.]

"Some natural tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wand'ring steps and slow
Through Eden took their solitary way.
" - Book XII Lines 645-649

I know what this book is usually based around a...more
Richard Houchin
As Blake said, "The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet, and of the Devil's party without knowing it."

Milton's work is really, really good. It has epic gun battles between angels and demons, and titanic expressions of sheer will. Most remarkable, though, is Satan's character as a rebel hero. Milton's reliance on the apocrypha and the treasure trove of literary stories as his source material do h...more
Linda I
To be a fan of classic literature it is imperative to read, at least once, the powerful poetic epic that is "Paradise Lost". As far as "Paradise Regained", well...this story is not so illuminating, but is still a beautifully written poem. Most everyone living in a Western Civilization already knows the story: Satan is expelled from Heaven and decides to defile the new world God created. He sneaks into the Garden of Eden and finds a way to ruin God's plans by tempting Eve to eat from the tree of...more
Amanda Nelson
Screw you, Paradise Lost! *fist shaking*

Ok, now that that is out of my system, let me tell you: reading this epic poem with my book group at Goodreads has been one of the most frustrating literary experiences of my life. So when I say "screw you, PL" I only kind of mean PL. I also mean, insane book club people. I am never moderating a discussion on a theological anything, ever, ever, ever. Ugh.

MOVING ON.

Paradise Lost is a 17th century epic poem about the fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion...more
Michelle
What can I say? I suppose I felt guilty giving "Paradise Lost" anything less than four stars! I'm certainly no serious judge of poetry, epic or other, but I'd never read Milton and felt it was time. It's amazing what you learn about a piece of literature without ever having read it. So with all the critical background noise of graduate school, I finally have Milton under my belt. The poem is impressive, to say the least, and enlightening on many levels, the most intriguing to me being Milton's v...more
Clayton
Paradise Lost is bar-none the greatest work of literature in the English language, and I suspect it stands up pretty well against what the rest of the world has to offer. Milton took a handful of Bible verses and expanded them into 10,000 near-perfect lines on the nature of sin, temptation, good and evil. In it, he creates a powerfully sympathetic Lucifer, posits the single most persuasive argument for Human free-will ever attempted, and paints the fall of Man as the greatest tragedy of all time...more
Colin Hogan
I read this while preparing for a cumulative exam in English literature. I had only touched Milton in a survey course of British Literature of the Renaissance. I must have gone to the bar the night before that lecture because nothing seemed familiar. I spent the better part of two weeks, sitting at work, sitting in cafes, sitting in the library, sitting in my car, announcing Milton's convoluted lines of poetry à haute voix. This was the only way I could understand what was going on, like I was p...more
Taro Shijuukara
Well, the poetry is quite good. But there were a few parts that fell in the action department. Paradise Lost is much, much more interesting than Paradise Regained. I feel this is possibly because Milton made Satan to be such an anti-villain that you couldn't at least blame him for rising up over an overbearing monarch.
There may be some values dissonance here as well, some sources say this is a very Calvinist book, which is not as popular a view nowaparts.
Robyn
I am glad I finally had the opportunity to read Paradise Lost. It deserves the acclaim that it has received over the past 400 years. That being said, I don't think it is necessary to read the entire epic poem unless someone is assigned to do so or wishes to inflict self-induced agony. Books I, IV, and IX (along with the last four lines of Book XII) contain the most emotionally-wrought and action-packed scenes, but for most readers, I think reading only these sections along with the Arguments at...more
Alice Sather
Read the original even though you'll wade at times because of language that is ponderous to us. It is worth the literary and cultural experience.
Robert Sorba
Ahem, what I meant to say was: I was not made for reading epic poetry...it is beyond me.
Chris brown
I actually kind of like this so far, i did not think I would.
It did not turn out to be something that was overwhelmingly outstanding. I would recommend it to a well read high school student interested in christian dogma. Its worth a read if you want to understand the circular reasoning of Calvinism and are having trouble with the notion of predestination alongside free will and how one could reason them both. I would caution anyone wanting to read this, to read the Bible first, that way you can...more
Scott
I don't think I'll give a full review of this poem, because surely at this point it doesn't need it! But I wanted to get down a few ideas that I had while reading through it.

One of the things that I think is so great about this poem, is that I'm not totally convinced that Milton had complete control over what he was doing. And I don't say that as an insult. Rather it's as if so many things were speaking through him gaining entrance into the poem.

One of these ideas that I think he plays with is t...more
Miriam
Nov 29, 2009 Miriam is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I abuse goodreads terribly. Rather than contributing to the community with excellent book reviews, I use is as a place for organizing my thoughts while I read. There is a lot that I think about as I read Paradise Lost. I mean it's well done of course, who an I to contend with that. But it falls so short of what it is trying to represent, that it disappoints me somewhat, particularly in light of how influential it is. It is a child's version of the battles of Satan and man, a Disney-esqe version...more
Chris
I didn’t rate this based on it’s sexist nature: I’m well aware of how Eve got the shaft, all womanhood is to blame for the Fall of man, God’s old and white and has a dick, blah blah blah. I rated it based on the unbelievable talent of Milton’s jargon and the highly memorable, intangible imagery. Mythologically it’s such an epic story that I’d be crazy to let misogyny alone demote it. Besides, you could argue that Milton is taking a “sympathy for the devil” stance (authority should always be ques...more
Dana
So, I do understand that this is a great classic. I can even see why. I don't think it stands the test of time, however. I found myself, nine times out of ten, laughing at the reactions and the situations, finding most of the figures portrayed in the book to be small children (and sometimes, they would come across as gangsters but I think that's my own special spin on this tale). Now, this is not a bad thing, per say. Speaking as someone who doesn't enjoy reading old English, the reactions of th...more
Jessica (Books: A true story)
This book took me a long time to read. Three months to be exact. It’s some seriously dense epic poetry. Some of Paradise Lost reminded me a lot of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, especially the lines about flames that produced darkness and the idea of Satan doing the opposite of God but God turns it to good anyway. It was hard to get used to the language, but once I did I really liked how Milton was able to use two meanings for a lot of words – the literal meaning and a figurative meaning. It was in...more
Jenny
It took two months to get through Paradise Lost, but I did it. I couldn't stomach the 60 pages of Paradise Regained so that will have to wait until another time. Milton did not spend enough time portraying the actual fall of man, (maybe because he made it clear that it was woman's fault and what else needed to be said?). Really, 5 pages out of 340 doesn't cut it, even for a misogynist. I don't think it's fair to assume that Adam and Eve were so innocent and gullible not to need more sinister per...more
Renu
Jun 07, 2007 Renu is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in poetry and theology
I bought this book in class 9 in school, but let it languish on my bookshelf for more than a decade! Finally, I think I am able to make space for a sustained read.

The poem portrays the human predicament, vis-a-vis man and god and the question of faith in a medieval christian context.

The poem has been the subject of controversy amidst 19th and 20th century critics for its rather one-sided and chauvinistic depiction of Eve.

However, there's more to this book than mere controversy. It is a reward...more
Kari
4 stars because there are imperfections in how the characters and their motives are written, and even how the simple facts of the events happened. I mean, you can tell that Milton read and searched and knew the Bible, which by far most people who try to retell Bible stories like this have not done and do not know, but I think if he'd done just a little more reading for, say, another half hour with regard to some sections, he'd have gotten it right, and so even better. But 4 stars because he real...more
Richard
A masterful piece of literature. It purports to be in the same poetic style as Homer and Virgil, and it doesn't dissapoint. The first part is the story of the War in Heaven, Lucifer cast out, the creation, the Garden of Eden,and the fall of Adam. The second part, much shorter and simpler, is the tale of Jesus and his three temptations in the desert. Though these stories are very familiar to most Christians, the style and the poetry are what this is really about. Milton's voice gives new and high...more
Stephen
Wow. This was a very challenging read, and it took me a while to get through it, but it was very rewarding. Milton's ability to easily make you visualize the scene is quite astonishing. I'm not sure if anyone has made a movie of this book, (and nowadays if they did they'd probably butcher it) but if someone took the time to really research this and portray it the right way, if would be amazing.
Tin Wee
Paradise Lost is a poem of the events leading to the fall of Satan, and his scheming to deceive Man to disobeying God as told in the Book of Genesis. Paradise Regained is a poem of Jesus' forty days in the desert, and how Satan attempts to sway him. Being a casual reader, I found this a very heavy going read, with long and convoluted verses that can get confusing if you let your concentration slip, or if you need to stop reading for whatever reason. I found myself going back and re-reading verse...more
Adele Jones
If I was reading various books without knowing which ones had been accepted into the canon of Great Literature, I would not have guessed that Paradise Lost made the cut. I'm going to go read essays about it to try and figure out what makes it so well-thought-of.
Peter Corens
Heavy stuff, but well worth it. The views and interpretations of the 17th-century Milton about God and his (fallen) angels is great, allthough the ancient verse slows you down quite a bit...

Personally, I liked the first parts the best, when it was really about God and his Angels, and the story about the uprise of Satan. Where Adam and Eve were concerned, it took some reminding of the time frame not to get too annoyed by the blatant sexism (Eve being only soft and nice and beautiful, but conseque...more
David
I can't say for sure what I think of this work. It has opened many questions for me. I did enjoy some of the language and imagery, yet, I also found much to be tedious. I wonder if this helps to teach or to indoctrinate in the faith, or does it hurt? Is it right to treat God as a very human character? Why would this essentially immortal being battle each other? How do you decide a contest when you can't kill the defeated? Why battle if you have the power to cast those out of heaven? What do we l...more
Lance
Foremost, I want to make it very clear, this was excellent. The writing was superb, and Milton deserves an era of style named after him. As prose goes, top of the line.

That said... Oww. My head hurts. The unfortunate nature of amazing prose, and wide vocabulary usage is that often times readers become simply weary. Attempting to interact in any long stints was enjoyable, but draining.

I do highly recommend this. Having the stories fleshed out is marvelous, even if fiction. It's well worth some sm...more
Mahmoud haggui
الملخص: جون ميلتون عايز يقول إن بغلطة أدم بقى كل اَمالنا نروح مكان فى الاصل مكاننا,. و بعد كدا يرسم صورة بذيئة لربنا " ونعوذ بالله من هذا" غضب الرب و حقده من اكل ادم من الشجر : هوذا الانسان ياَكل من شجرة المعرفة معرفة الخير والشر و يصبح اله مثلنا. تعالى الله عن ذلك علواً كبيراً. جون ميلتون يجهل سيكولوجية الانسان و اسس ترتيب الدوافع لدى البشر. فكل ولد اَدم لديه غريزة حب البقاء و كره الفناء. و هى تفوق بمراحل غريزة الفضول المعرفى, الا ترى كم ينفق الانسان على الدواء و المستشفيات الا ترى كيف ينفق الا...more
Michael Allen
Glad I finally read this. It's not the easiest read but beautifully written. If you have a hunger for classics and a desire to experience language used to it's fullest, read it. If you want light reading, pass.
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John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and...more
More about John Milton...
Paradise Lost The Complete Poetry Samson Agonistes Paradise Regained Areopagitica

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