Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained discussion


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Comment/Question on Paradise Lost

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message 1: by Forrest (new) - added it

Forrest I think that Paradise Lost is a great book. Although it is tough to read because of the fact that it is an epic poem, it still has held my interest more than any other book i have read. Each line that Milton writes is very interesting, and the plot of the book itself is very unique which also makes it a very good book.

My only question on the book is about John Milton. I would want to ask Milton how he thought of what to write while putting the words in such well written form.


message 2: by Norman (new)

Norman Milton may well have answered that he didn't have to think of what to write...it merely came from divine inspiration. At the time (so the story goes) he had already gone blind, so he had to dictate the text of Paradise Lost to his wife, who faithfully transcribed it for him.

I don't know that I agree with your assessment that the plot was "very unique." His portrayal of Lucifer was certainly memorable and he added a great deal of pathos to that character especially.


message 3: by Kirk (new)

Kirk I believe the dictation was to his daughters and various friends, rather than his wife.


message 4: by Aisling (new)

Aisling I always thought Lucifer was a much more "human" character than God - always felt kinda sorry for him!


message 5: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla Yes, it was dictated to his daughter mainly, though not only, at about 40 lines at a time.

I am so lucky I actually have a 300 year old copy of Paradise Lost, I sort of collect different versions and editions...

If you want to crack PL, you need to start by the great luminary who really cracked it fully, Professor Christopher Ricks, then move any way you wish from there.

I taught Milton (even courses specifically on Paradise Lost) for some time, as to Milton claiming Divine Inspiration, there is a problem there, he does ask god to aid him, yet he also sates with words 'unattemted yet in prose or rhyme'. That includes the Holy Bible.

There are mainly two factions in the reading of PL (odd, same as two factions on the Aeneid): one who just kill it, by saying that Milton wanted to support canonical religious beliefs, the other that proposes the opposite. However, I'd rather think Milton believed in both, or in all. When reading Milton, one needs to remember that his mind worked by metanoia, that is, his main way of reasoning was 'however'. Stanley Fish wrote a whole long piece on one single incident of Miltonic 'howevers' (got it the concept right but worked on it from the wrong perspective, maybe because he thought too much of himself as a reader [pathetic academic in-joke, Stanley Fish is the father of reader-response criticism] and didn't learn from Milton, but wanted Milton to conform to his views...) anyway, whenever Milton says something he also suggests something else. I think this means not only that he is constantly asking questions about alternatives, but, in my view, he believed, and quite strongly, that alternative truths not only are possible, but co-exist and explain each other...

When you read PL, always look at where he suggests a pause, then changes the meaning next. He makes you think one thing, then tells you the other, from the very first line...


message 6: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook Stephan wrote: "Aisling wrote: "I always thought Lucifer was a much more "human" character than God - always felt kinda sorry for him!"

Will you join the devil because of compassion then? Or will you stay faithfu..."


Well, the Buddha said their are 84,000 paths, so at least one enlightened being saw a few options.


message 7: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook Adriano wrote: "Yes, it was dictated to his daughter mainly, though not only, at about 40 lines at a time.

I am so lucky I actually have a 300 year old copy of Paradise Lost, I sort of collect different versions ..."


Interesting take, Adriano. There is a unity in Blind Johnny's polarity.


message 8: by Iris (new)

Iris Halbert Try this website


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