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Paradise Lost

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  147,034 ratings  ·  4,083 reviews
John 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 ear ...more
Paperback, 453 pages
Published February 27th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1667)
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Alan Lindsay Certainly. The story itself is complete and coherent. Glosses and footnotes can be helpful or distracting. I'd read it once straight through without a…moreCertainly. The story itself is complete and coherent. Glosses and footnotes can be helpful or distracting. I'd read it once straight through without any apparatus before worrying about what you might miss. (Christians with no knowledge of Greek mythology read this poem all the time without feeling as though they are missing anything. And virtually no one who reads the poem knows all the things Milton alludes to. But that's not an obstacle to enjoyment.) (less)
Markea El paraíso perdido es un poema épico en verso por el siglo 17 poeta Inglés John Milton. Por " verso libre " , me refiero a la poesía sin rima. …moreEl paraíso perdido es un poema épico en verso por el siglo 17 poeta Inglés John Milton. Por " verso libre " , me refiero a la poesía sin rima. (less)

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Jun 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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
Sean Barrs
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads, poetry
Paradise Lost is the quintessential epic poem and its protagonist, Satan, is the quintessential anti-hero.

“Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.”


It’s almost impossible to read this without, in some way, sympathising with him. Although he is vain, full of pride and evil, he is still a fallen angel. And that’s kind of important. In the early cantos he is powerful, persuasive and godly though he, ultimately, becomes corrupted by his own selfish desires and ruins himself. He is blin
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The road winds in
Listlessness of ancient war,
Langour of broken steel,
Clamour of confused wrong, apt
In silence. Memory is strong
Beyond the bone. Pride snapped,
Shadow of pride is long....

Which way I turn is Hell -
Myself am Hell.

When T.S. Eliot visited the Scottish Highlands in his later years, he saw at first hand the site of the Glencoe Massacre at the time of the doomed Jacobite uprising of 1689.

As he mused, who know
Patrick Oden
Apr 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary, fiction
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
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Natalie Monroe
EDIT 26/12/2018: I'm not answering comments on this review anymore because I find that I have to constantly repeat myself. If you feel the need to point out Paradise Lost is a classic and was written during an era when women had few rights, please refer to the comment section. I'm fucking done.

The 50-word review that launched a thousand trolls:

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 wh
Leo .
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
J.G. Keely
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Rakhi Dalal
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
“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
(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
In the 17th century, a century after the eruption of the Reformation, the lines of demarcation between Catholics and Protestants firmly drawn. After the theologians, began to emerge a secular Protestant literature. But these austere Puritans fiercely reject the frivolity of Catholic courts, and even more, the theatre considered a place of debauchery and impiety. It is, therefore, in the Bible that they draw their inspiration.
It is probable that Milton long entertained the idea of ​​writing a gre
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
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, an
Jason Koivu
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Next to Shakespeare, Milton's Paradise Lost is probably one of the best and most enduring of the English Classics.

That's surprising, really, because, let's face it: not to many people in the modern crowd reads poetry these days. Or they don't try because they assume it's going to be too difficult.

Of course, they're probably not trying Milton. It's not only easy to read and gorgeously crafted, but it's also FULL of action, full of thrills, and it just plain kicks ass.

Don't let the topic fool you
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Liz Janet
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
“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
J. Sebastian
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-classics
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 ...more
Manuel Antão
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2005
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Uncontrollable Madness: “Paradise Lost” by Milton

Milton wrote a great poem but it's also a byproduct of its day - 1667 - and he views events and characters very much through the male gaze; as do all organized religions and which the poem references. Thus, the apple on the tree of knowledge was (imo) something a religious-minded white Portuguese male would regard as sinful. As it stands, the sin no longer applies. It is 2005, eating the
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I read PL during my morning walks. Often aloud, it went surprisingly fast--about half a book per day, completed in a month. Of course, so many of the allusions, even with good footnotes and a lifetime of reading and a Ph.D. in 17C English lit, remain solidly beyond me, in a sempiternal world of classical and biblical allusion. But I read with the recognition that such allusions function as validating linkages, rather like real links online, or like Mercedes for the insecure.
This may b
Jun 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like reading about the devil
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 ...more
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
David Sarkies
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who love English Lit
Recommended to David by: My English teacher
Shelves: christian
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
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Roy Lotz
In poetic genius, Milton is the only English poet who could seriously rival Shakespeare. As they both were from around the same time period, they use similar language; but in style and substance, the two are worlds apart. Shakespeare has his feet firmly planted in human affairs—he can find the whole universe in a conversation on a lazy afternoon. Milton is epic in scale, taking the reader from the pit of Hell, through unformed Chaos, past Earth, all the way up to Heaven. Shakespeare’s mind trave ...more
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites

I’d been meaning to read this epic for a very long time, and I am not surprised that I head over heels loved it. I admit that I struggled at first – there are two editions of this novel you can get. (Well, more than two.) But you can get the one which has been edited to include modern day punctuation, or you can get the original text. I had the original text (which has since been replaced with the Penguin classic), which means there were no speech marks and I had to pay rapt attention to know wh
Brandon Pearce
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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 ...more
Paul E. Morph
May 25, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a tricky one for me to rate. I can definitely appreciate Milton's vision and am obviously extremely impressed by the scope of the work and the craftsmanship involved in creating such an epic work. I also appreciate the social impact it must have had at the time it was written.

However, while I am an avid lover of mythology, with Norse being my favourite (thanks to all those Thor comics I read as a kid), Judeo-Christian mythology is tricky for me (I can't say 'Judeo-Christian mythology' wi
هدى يحيى
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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 manki
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An epic poem deserves an epic review - I can't promise to deliver on that. But at least it's heartfelt.

This poem is what made John Milton one of THE names in literature. And yes, it's a poem as long as a book. In fact, it has over 10 thousand lines of verse and consists of 12 books. I think the number of books, or chapters if you will, was different at first and the version with 12 chapters/books was a later revision and done because of Virgil's Aeneid. Milton used blank verses which is to say t
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John Milton 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 self-determination, and the urgent

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