Jeff's Reviews > Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost by John Milton
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May 15, 2012

it was amazing

Milton's poetic narrative, telling of the background events leading up to the creation and fall of Adam and Eve, is a pleasure to read. In his own conceptual justification of the "ways of God to man," Milton elaborates where the Bible is general, and anthropomorphizes the characters of Judeo-Christian drama.

I am most intrigued by the first four chapters, where the focus is Satan, who laments with his minions his first and more fierce fall. Though Milton comes close to preachy in the text, he never outright lambasts Satan. Rather, it is interesting the way Milton anthropomorphizes the fallen angels, including Satan, giving them humanesque ideas and sentimentalities. The reader develops almost a pity for them as they realize their error but find repentance too late and distant. As humans ourselves, we recognize immediately personal mistakes, egoism, and burnt bridges that we expect God or life itself to forgive us for, yet these fallen angels are without hope of forgiveness. The reader feels sorry for them.

Satan is condemned to Hell for his “pride” and “worse, ambition,” while Adam and Eve, the poem's protagonists, seem nubile and foolish throughout. All of this reinforces the mysteries of biblical mythology, hardly illuminating them.

The middle chapters and final two (which were not of the original poem) were drab, but worth it overall. Enter misogyny, Eve is the scapegoat of the entire race. Chick can't catch a break, even with Milton.

Was cool to see famous book titles come from the poem: East of Eden (Hemingway), In Dubious Battle (Steinbeck).
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