Paradise lost

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Longman, 1998 - Poetry - 716 pages
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Paradise Lost is the greatest work by one of the greatest poets in English literature and here, finally, is the long awaited Second Edition of Alastair Fowler's annotated edition, originally published in 1968, which has become the most authoritative guide to this great work and to the critical analysis that it has prompted. This important new edition is based on the First Edition of Paradise Lost (1667) which is now widely accepted as being closer to Milton's intention and is more accurate than the 1664 edition. However, Fowler maintains the detailed annotation that has for many years provided an interesting and comprehensive explanation to this difficult but compelling poem.

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Formal, lofty, and tragic, John Milton's epic titled "Paradise Lost" depicts the genesis of life from the third person viewpoint. It describes how Adam and Eve related with God since the time of creation, and their heavy fall from "glory to grass" when Satan corrupted their minds. Places mentioned in the set include Hell, Heaven, Earth, Paradise, and Garden of Eden.
Throughout its 1647 pages, the author's consistent use of the present tense is truely remarkable.


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About the author (1998)

John Milton, English scholar and classical poet, is one of the major figures of Western literature. He was born in 1608 into a prosperous London family. By the age of 17, he was proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Milton attended Cambridge University, earning a B.A. and an M.A. before secluding himself for five years to read, write and study on his own. It is believed that Milton read evertything that had been published in Latin, Greek, and English. He was considered one of the most educated men of his time. Milton also had a reputation as a radical. After his own wife left him early in their marriage, Milton published an unpopular treatise supporting divorce in the case of incompatibility. Milton was also a vocal supporter of Oliver Cromwell and worked for him. Milton's first work, Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a classmate, was published in 1632, and he had numerous works published in the ensuing years, including Pastoral and Areopagitica. His Christian epic poem, Paradise Lost, which traced humanity's fall from divine grace, appeared in 1667, assuring his place as one of the finest non-dramatic poet of the Renaissance Age. Milton went blind at the age of 43 from the incredible strain he placed on his eyes. Amazingly, Paradise Lost and his other major works, Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, were composed after the lost of his sight. These major works were painstakingly and slowly dictated to secretaries. John Milton died in 1674.

Professor Alastair Fowler is Regius Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and English Literature, Universityof Edinburgh.

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