John Milton: Paradise Lost

Lands It s an interesting reading for sure Like all great poetry Paradise Lost can be read in many different ways The religious allegory and imagery is excellent There s so much to say about this poem and it has influenced so many other writers in the centuries after its original publication I wonder how much so though I can think of numerous examples in modern iterature that would not have existed if not for the influence and pertinence of the ideas presented here Putting aside the beauty of the poetry and the allegories it s a fantastic story that has permeated so many others it s At the Italians Command legacy endures It s a powerful piece and the tragic story of Satan will always remain the most endearing aspect of it for meBlog Twitter Facebook Insta Academia When I think of Milton s epic poem about Satan and his fall from grace I most freuently think of two anecdotes apart from the actual work brilliant and a foundation of 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 recognize it as a source It also updated not only the epic but the heroic form and its uestioning of the devil is a great philosophical exploration even if it may ultimately prove a failure as I shall try to explainThe uestion remains even if the Vatican did not explicitly include it why are there not smaller sects which so often spring up around such and inspiring and daring work The answer is that one need not explicitly include something that has been included implicitly Many readers accept Milton s view of events as accurate and that it was wholly derived from the Bible when in fact it isargely an original workUnder Constantine Hell and the Devil were re conceptualized The representation of Hell in the Bible is often metaphorical and does not include fire and brimstone Hell is defined as absence from God and nothing This is supposed to be a painful and unfulfilling experience but not iteral physical torture Much of the modern conceptualization of Hell is based upon Hellenic mythological influences and verses from Revelation taken out of context The place of fire and brimstone is where the Devil and the Antichrist are put after the apocalypse and is never stated as being related to human afterlifeLikewise the Devil is most commonly depicted as a greedy idiot chasing after farts The only tempting he ever does Biblically is during Job where he must first ask God if he is permitted to interfere The concept of the Devil as a charming rebellious trickster and genius is entirely MiltonHe portrays him this way to align Satan with the heroic figures of Epic Poetry This is not because he thinks of the Devil as a hero but rather so he can show that our heroes should not be rebellious murderers as they were in ancient stories but humble pious simple menHe gives the Devil philosophical and political motivations for rebelling but has him fail to notice that God cannot be uestioned or defeated However this reuires that one absolutely believe this assertion without ever testing it Anyone who accepts it unuestioningly such as CS Lewis is bound to believe that the Devil is foolish to uestion the natural orderHowever Milton himself states that the Devil had no choice but to doubt and due to our own rational minds man cannot help doubting either In this case we might fall in with Blake and suggest that Milton was the Devil s man not because he wanted to be but because he carried biblical rhetoric to its rational conclusionThis is illustrated in a rather shocking way in the creation of Eve finding herself utterly new to the world she sees her own reflection in a puddle and finding it beautiful eans down naively and tries to kiss it This amusing retelling of the myth of Narcissus indicates that God made women naturally autoerotic and bisexualSadly this never made it into modern Christianity for some reason but it does show the strength of Paradise Lost Milton provides rhetorical support for every idea he explores even those he did not side with It is a great book of uestions and a book which demands the reader think and try to understandWe are supposed to sympathize with the Devil because he is heroic and dangerous but we also know he is the Devil We know that to sympathize with him is wrong and that he is supposed to be wrong Milton here invented the concept of the Devil we cannot help but sympathize with and who we must fight daily to overcomeHe defined sin as doubt but without realizing that doubt will always deconstruct an old answer and suggest a new one The fact remains that metaphysically doubt can only injure us in a realm we cannot know exists As the enemy of any tyranny of men of ideas doubt is the helpmeet of all who struggle The Devil is the father of doubt and the final outcome of doubt is always accepting that we are fundamentally ignorant either in our believing or in our not believingHe also uses the English Her Rancher Hero (Saddlers Prairie, language in an entirely idiomatic and masterful way his is one of the few uniue voices of English Reading him sometimes proves a challenge for those without a background in Latin since his sentence structure and particularly his verb use are stripped down and multipurpose taking the form of metaphysical poets to itsogical conclusionHe is also one of the most knowledgeable and allusive of writers especially when it comes to the The Maid of Lorne longer form His encyclopedic exploration of myths reinvention of scenes and adoption of ideas make this work one of the most wide reaching and interconnected in EnglishThis can make his work somewhat daunting for readers who are often unwilling to read the books he references in preparation for tackling him which I find rather ironic since no one complains about having to read ten thousand pages of Harry Potter before tackling theast boo. OveMarked by Milton's characteristic erudition Paradise Lost is a work epic both in scale and notoriously in ambition For nearly 350 years it has held generation upon generation of audiences in rapt attention and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western cultu.

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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 dickBut 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 disservice And Eve for that matterSimilarly God s a dick because God s a dick You ve read the Old Testament He s not exactly all flowers and hugs there either Again Milton s just being true to his characters and writing a great story while he s at it There s slightly to it than that yeah For example it s hinted a ittle that God sets Satan up to fall He gives a stern warning that anyone who disobeys him or his son will be cast out of Heaven But since there s no sin or evil at the time of his speech why give the warning Isn t that ike saying Don t touch these cookies while I m gone to a kid who didn t realize there were cookies until you pointed them outHere s my advice to people considering reading Paradise Lost read the first two books It starts with a bang and it s pretty amazing for a while It slows down a bit in books III VII so if you re not totally sold in the first two books I was you can either uit altogether with a fair idea of what Milton sounds How to Become a Virgin like or skip to books IX and X IX is the actual temptation and fall especially fun if you re a misogynist and X is an astonishing seuence where Adam and Eve contemplate suicideWhy am I mocked with death andengthened out To deathless pain How gladly would I meetMortality my sentencehis dreadful voice no Would thunder in my ears Adam X774 780 We ve totally mucked this up and our kids are gonna justifiably hate us because we got kicked out of Paradise and maybe we should just uit while we re behind But really the whole thing is worth it Took me a while it s intense stuff so I found that I had to read a book and then chew on it for a while to process it before moving to the next one but it s coolIn book VIII if you re cosmologically minded Milton Dangerous Disguise (Cavanaugh Justice, lays out the whole universe Like Giordano Bruno he understands that our earth is a tiny speck in the universe and he gets that all the stars are sunsike ours and therefore could have planets ike ours around them He also thinks they might be inhabited our species might not be God s only experiment Elsewhere other Adams and Eves may have faced the same test of the Tree of Knowledge and they might have passed it Isn t that an amazing thoughtIn books XI and XII Michael tells Adam sortof all the rest of the stories in the Old Testament which of course boil down to So shall the world go onTo good malignant to bad men benignUnder her own weight groaning XII 537 539That s your fault there Adam Nice workHe rushes through them though and it makes me wonder whether Milton had originally intended to retell the entire Old Testament but got bored or intimidated or something That would ve been remarkable Certainly Paradise Lost is better iterature than the Old Testament is and significantly coherentIt s also better iterature than almost everything else Second best poem by a blind guy ever 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 ife 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 sopho year I sat on the front Command Performance lawn of my college and read Paradise Lost Nonstop getting up for meals and other important breaks but otherwise spending that whole break reading Milton Hardly anyone else remained on campus The weather was cool and breezy and beautiful I sat under a tree and readengthy portions out Loveknot (Welcome to Tyler, loud which helped me get into the rhythm Once in the rhythm of reading I tasted heaven itself This book was an awakening for me a trigger that opened up my soul and allowed me to understand a small portion of eternity It was an epiphany weekend for me one which transformed my soul and remains in many ways an anchor for my faith During the dark times of my soul I remembered those days and knew knew knew there was something to still hope for This is a hard read and one thatikely reuires a The Perfect Blend lot of space uiet and time It takes a while to get into his rhythm and finally dance with his words but if you can if you can get away from this world for a while and devote yourself to Milton s work youl find a new reality opening up The man saw heaven The man knew God His writing is genius and extraordinary far beyond anything else I ve ever read This book iterally changed my soul and my ife EDIT 26122018 I m not answering comments on this review any 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 Wanted (Sealed with a Kiss launched a thousand trollsFuck your misogyny Fuck your scorning Greek gods as false gods then using its mythologyeft and right as metaphors Fuck your punishing the serpent when You knew it was possessed by Satan Fuck Ah forget it in middle school i had seen this book Rayuan Sang Bos [Seduced By the Boss] 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 toet friends and family know after actually reading the book for a brit it class i realized how wrong my thirteen year old self was with the image i assumed i was portraying most ikely people realized that i was desperate for attention and for some strange reason was using john. John Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English anguage 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

Milton to get it but on the off chance they did believe i was into paradise ost i must have seemed Whispers Of The Heart like a total psycho the book is about a war waged in hell after satan s fall THE CONUEST OF PRIDEThe road winds inListlessness of ancient warLangour of broken steelClamour of confused wrong aptIn silence Memory is strongBeyond the bone Pride snappedShadow of pride isongTS ELIOT RANNOCH AT GLENCOEWhen TS Eliot visited the Scottish Highlands in his The Dukes Gamble 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 knows if he also thought of his own earlier words on this poetry poetry that was composed at a religiously fractious moment of British history in the same timeframe as Glencoe Milton s Paradise Lost Perhaps he was remembering his comment that Milton could never endear himself to us readersBut maybe also this great twentieth century poet called to mind as he meditated on war and pride his own opinion that there is no wisdom beyond the wisdom of humility Pride begins and ends all wars and pride can be the downfall of anyone s religion But humility is graceAnd pride is theast enemy we must defeat on the road to self knowledgeJohn Milton was a proud man and he was valiantly attempting to work out his salvation with diligence as Eliot s character of the psychiatrist says in The Cocktail Party within the confines of a religion of Love in which his own immense ego could barely fitA doomed enterpriseAnd the crushed blind Milton of the Unmasking the Marquess (Hold Your Breath, later Samson Agonistes was still smothered in the smoky remnants of a hellish pride as is his Satan in this work with whom Milton subconsciously sympathizes And that s the problem Which is it the humility of the Lord or the pride of SatanIt seems that asong as we Let Go like Milton seek a separate transcendence from our fellows in our beliefs those beliefs will be to some extent defined by pridePride seeks transcendence while humility abases itself to a state of immanence There may be no religious faith other than the Pauline one which accepts the full weight ofife s inherent problematicsMany outside of faith similarly seek transcendence some in great power though others through idealizing their ideas of sexuality and Chatsfields Ultimate Acquisition living those ideals through their actsIf you take yourife straight up without those transcendent ideals you re on the right path though it hurts Major Westhavens Unwilling Ward (Hh like all get out to do that Yet that s what Christian existentialistsike Kierkegaard and Jaspers tell us to doMilton Major Westhavens Unwilling Ward lived in his poetic ideals as others among usive in their sexual ideals And so ife becomes for them a game to be won ever anew until old age puts the kibosh to all that Yet those who seek in resignation to ive How to Disappear life in forever experiencing its problematic aspects will be forever renewed in its vigour Any form of escape will prove to be spiritual suicideThe majestic rumbling cadences of this great work inspire our awe but the epic doesn t satisfy because of this inherent duality of meaning and intent For the real meaning of Losing Paradise is found in the transcendence of prideSo to sum up The epic battles are incredible but they are filled with the clamour of confused wrong The poetry floors us but the ego of its author turns us off The overall architecture is superb but there is a crack in its cornerstoneFive stars for an otherwise incredible masterpiece ofiterature A fractured masterpiece to our objectively wary modern eyes Is Satan coming Are we in the End of DaysIs the Earth heating under the Sun s RaysIs it all make believe manipulation or trueWhy on this wonderful Earth is everybody blueAre we in the Rapture Impending DoomLightning strikes sink holes and What does the word Paradise signifies to a human being Is it the state of blissfulness which one acknowledges in ife owing to the absence of all fears as can be experienced in this dwelling place of ours Or is Paradise Lost is the uintessential epic poem and its protagonist Satan is the uintessential 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 blinded by ambition and God s glory He is jealous and power hungry and reals over what he will never have He deteriorates and festers becoming evil as his pain increases The hell he feels at his separation from God is projected outwards and he ooses himself in maelstrom of emotions that inflict his soul He A Guide to Americas Sex Laws lives in denial and becomes demented that much so he is reduced to the form of a snake The once magnificent angel tall and proud now slithers on the floor with the beasts Satan is fearless Eternal damnation did not make him baulk As a form of petty revenge for his perpetual banishment from heaven Satan determines to corrupt mankind and prove that God s creation is fallible weak and debased He creates Sin and Death his children the means of entering Earth through hell Through temptation he has his victory Eve eats the apple in the garden of eden because of his coercion God punishes Adam and Eve banishing them to Earth Satan has achieved his goal though his fate remains unchanged and his once noble intentions have become so distorted that he becomes the very personification of evil Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape howovely and pined his Agewise loss The poem interprets the idea of salvation and redemption present in the bible Despite his crimes Satan never attempts a reconciliation Humanity on the other hand toils on earth worships god and seeks forgiveness It displays the idea that obedience to God is the creed in which one shouldive by and that all hierarchies exist for a reason to break them is to break the rule of God As such some critics see political arguments within the text arguing that Satan represents Oliver Cromwell the usurper and that God represent Charles I the ord and king of the. F mankind's destiny The struggle rages across three worlds heaven hell and earth as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve who are motivated by all too human temptations but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding

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 verseMilton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions a passion for freedom and self determination and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day Writing in English Latin Greek and Italian he achieved international renown within his lifetime and his celebrated Areopagitica 1644—written in condemnation of pre publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the pressWilliam Hayley's 1796 biography called him the greatest English author and he remains generally regarded as one of the preeminent writers in the English language though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death often on account of his republicanism Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as a poem whichwith respect to design may claim the first place and with respect to performance the second among the productions of the human mind though he a Tory and recipient of royal patronage described Milton's politics as those of an acrimonious and surly republicanBecause of his republicanism Milton has been the subject of centuries of British partisanship