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Paradise Lost (Norton Critical Editions) by…

Paradise Lost (Norton Critical Editions) (original 1667; edition 1992)

by John Milton

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1,744116,053 (4.24)14
Title:Paradise Lost (Norton Critical Editions)
Authors:John Milton
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1992), Edition: 2nd, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:17thcentury, english, england, british, classic, epicpoem, christian, christianity, godanddevil, god, adamandeve, menandwomen, husbandsandwives, sex, innocence, bildungsroman, bible, biblical, poem, follyofyouth, lyricism, influential, seminal, thirdperson, nortoncriticaleditions, xy

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Paradise Lost [Norton Critical Edition] by John Milton (1667)


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Paradise Lost by John Milton is a veritable landmark book within the chronicles of humanity’s past.

Milton’s imagination was as boundless as it was incisive, and he paints a masterful world in which good and evil battle for the fate of the world.

Undoubtedly one of the best epics of all-time, Milton’s Paradise Lost, features a plethora of allusions the likes of which haven’t been replicated since, and just might not be replicated ever.

Milton’s constant inferences to theological and classical underpinnings of society are one of the greatest components of this masterpiece. Every line is incisively thought out, and weaves seamlessly into the next manifesting a masterpiece of literature that’s as thought-provoking as it is deep.

The diction used in Milton’s time might be something that could turn certain readers off, but the notations at the bottom of each page of this particular version help the reader traverse through this fascinating and fierce fictional world that Milton crafted rather seamlessly.

Admittedly, an epic like this will demand a lot from the reader, and rightly so. It’s a quintessential milestone in history.

Given the complex range of characters it employs [Adam, Eve, Satan, God, Michael, etc.] and fuses with philosophical underpinnings of what many of humanity’s deeper yearnings and concerns are, only helps catapult this work beyond the rest in its field.

Ruminating upon its breadth, scope and complexity, it’s a pity that more works aren’t as well thought out as this. The standards Milton set upon himself to accomplish this piece should be held in high respect, for it is a testament to what human creativity can achieve when it sets its mind to it. And that is priceless, just like this book is. ( )
  ZyPhReX | Feb 13, 2017 |
Books 3, 9-12 are brilliant. This book challenged me and helped me gain maturity as a reader. Even if I read it six more times there would be still so much I wouldn't understand. John Milton (with help from the Holy Spirit) writes an epic poem that stands with the great epic poems of history. This epic poem takes you through the fall of the angels, the fall of man and God's great plan to rescue humanity through the voluntary sacrifice of His Son. This poem does well to illustrate that God is good. His plans are good. Humans turned from God toward Sin. We are depraved and in need of Jesus. I would like to read Paradise Regained some day. ( )
  erinjamieson | Jan 3, 2013 |
I don’t think I “understood” it any better than I did the first time I read it seven years ago. That time, I was discussing it in a classroom. This time, I read it for enjoyment. Or at least I tried to.

For me, Paradise Lost was about obedience, choice, and consequence. Everything in the poem seems to revolve around laws and the consequences for disobeying them, as well as the wonderful example of human autonomy. First Satan, and then Eve and Adam made choices. Satan’s choice (rebelling against God) caused him to be cast out of heaven; Eve and Adam’s choice required that they leave paradise.

Whether or not Milton succeeded in echoing my own understandings or in justifying God’s ways, what I got out of Paradise Lost overall is a sense of overwhelming need to reread complicated things. I didn’t reread this since I sat down to write these thoughts, and my first read was so long ago (seven years maybe?) that it seems a vague memory. I feel like I need to reread Paradise Lost a number of times in order to properly respond to it. And I suspect I’ll read it again. It could bear rereading every few years.

More thoughts on my blog
  rebeccareid | Jun 24, 2011 |
The shortest answer is: John Milton was a poetic genius. PL is so beautiful, you can't help but feel for Adam and Eve. Even Satan is a great character - he so wants to be an epic hero. This poem is a masterpiece, and he wrote it completely blind. Beautiful, absolutely amazing. ( )
1 vote VivalaErin | Apr 21, 2010 |
Historical significance and beautifully descriptive prose aside, I couldn't get into this book at all. Maybe it's too much familiarity with the plot or the inevitability of the impending doom of the ending, but I just found my mind wandering throughout reading Paradise Lost and would find that I had read 10 or 12 pages with absolutely no clue as to what was really going on in what I had just read and then I'd have to re-read it all over again. I can see why Milton's attempt to enlighten his audience as to the events leading up to the fall of man were important and relevant at the time that it was written and can see the significance of his writing on the literature of today, I just did not find Paradise Lost to be personally satisfying or enjoyable.

That being said, there are some passages throughout the text that are extremely rich, beautiful and powerful examples of what the English language can be in the hands of a master author. I appreciate Paradise Lost for what it is and represents, but it just isn't what I like to read. ( )
1 vote StefanY | Jul 12, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Miltonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Adams, Robert M.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arnold, MatthewContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, WilliamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coleridge, Samuel TaylorContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dryden, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elledge, ScottEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Empson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fish, Stanley EugeneContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frye, NorthropContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halley, Janet E.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, SamuelContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keats, JohnContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kermode, FrankContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landor, Walter SavageContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewalski, BarbaraContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricks, ChristopherContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tennyson, AlfredContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teskey, GordonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, James GranthamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
VoltaireContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woolf, VirginiaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wordsworth, WilliamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
In the beginning how the heavens and earth
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke
Of servile pomp.
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Series fields.
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"This Norton Critical Edition is designed to make Paradise Lost accessible for student readers, providing invaluable contextual and biographical information and the tools students need to think critically about this landmark epic. Gordon Teskey's freshly edited text of Milton's masterpiece is accompanied by a new introduction and substantial explanatory annotations. Spelling and punctuation have been modernized, the latter, importantly, within the limits imposed by Milton s syntax. 'Sources and Backgrounds' collects relevant passages from the Bible and Milton s prose writings, including selections from The Reason of Church Government and the full text of Areopagitica. 'Criticism' brings together classic interpretations by Andrew Marvell, John Dryden, Victor Hugo, and T. S. Eliot, among others, and the most important recent criticism and scholarship surrounding the epic, including essays by Northrop Frye, Barbara Lewalski, Christopher Ricks, and Helen Vendler. A Glossary and Selected Bibliography are also included."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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