Chris's Reviews > Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained

Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton
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's review
Mar 12, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, classics, favorites, mythology
Read in June, 2007

I didn’t rate this based on it’s seemingly sexist nature; I’m well aware of how Eve got the shaft, how all womanhood is to blame for the Fall of man, how God’s old and white and has a dick, and blah blah blah (since it’s based on the Bible, might Milton be forgiven?). I rated it based on the talent of Milton’s craft and the highly memorable, intangible imagery. There is Satan ascending to Heaven through Chaos, the divine chorus after the Son is ordained human incarnation, the various descriptions of Eden, the Son on the chariot casting bolts of lightning on the rebels of God and forcing their fall from the precipice of Heaven, and the demons in Hell transforming into giant serpents. All of this, as described by the superiority of Milton’s craft, creates a mythological masterpiece where anyone would be crazy to let misogyny alone demote it.

Besides, you could argue that Milton is taking a “sympathy for the devil” stance. Because let’s face it: God is a dick. Throughout the Bible he is constantly threatening and smiting down the creatures he apparently loves and is always willing to forgive. He is rather like a tyrant in that you have to do things His way, or else you’ll get booted off the Earth. Sympathy for the devil should make sense to anyone who questions authority (even God’s). Eve may therefore be a hero in Paradise Lost, because she foils the immortality of all the old white men who used The Bible to establish tyranny and submission (gee, I wonder why those are the people who look like God?). If that seems absurd, then hey, a lot of people were rooting for Satan in this one.

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