Paradise lost

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The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven ”. John Milton

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an illustrative look at John Milton`s Paradise Lost, with a selection of illustration by Gustave Dore, John Martin etc.

Transcript of Paradise lost

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“ The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”.

John Milton

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The story opens in hell, where Satan and his followers are recovering from defeat in a war they waged against God. They build a palace,

called Pandemonium, where they hold council to determine whether or not to return to battle.

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Satan undertakes the mission alone. He journeys across chaos till he sees the new universe floating near the larger globe which is heaven. God sees Satan flying towards this world and foretells the fall of man. His Son, who sits at his right hand, offers to sacrifice himself for man's salvation. Meanwhile, Satan enters the new universe. He flies to the

sun, where he tricks an angel, Uriel, into showing him the way to man's home.

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Satan gains entrance into the Garden of Eden, where he finds Adam and Eve and becomes jealous of them. He overhears them speak of

God's commandment that they should not eat the forbidden fruit. Uriel warns Gabriel and his angels, who are guarding the gate of Paradise, of

Satan's presence. Satan is apprehended by them and banished from Eden. God sends Raphael to warn Adam and Eve about Satan.

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Satan returns to earth, and possesses a serpent. Finding Eve alone he induces her to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam, resigned to join in her fate, eats also. Their innocence is lost and they become

aware of their nakedness. Upon his return to hell, instead of a celebration of victory, Satan and his crew are turned into serpents as

punishment. Adam reconciles with Eve. God sends Michael to expel the pair from Paradise, but first to reveal to Adam future events resulting

from his sin. Adam is saddened by these visions, but ultimately revived by revelations of the future coming of the Savior of mankind. In

sadness, mitigated with hope, Adam and Eve are sent away from the Garden of Paradise.

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John MiltonBorn 9 December 1608 – Died 8 November 1674

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Paradise Lost is an Epic

Paradise Lost has many of the elements that define epic form:• It is a long, narrative poem; • it follows the exploits of a hero (or anti-hero); • it involves warfare and the supernatural; • it begins in the midst of the action, with earlier crises in the story

brought in later by flashback; • and it expresses the ideals and traditions of a people. It has these elements in common with the Aeneid, the Iliad, and the Odyssey

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Poetic Form of the Epic

• The poem is in blank verse, that is, non-rhyming verse. In a note he added to the second printing, Milton expresses contempt for rhyming poetry.• Paradise Lost is composed in the verse form of iambic pentameter—

the same used by Shakespeare. In this style, a line is composed of five long, unaccented syllables, each followed by a short, accented one.

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Publishing the BookFirst edition published in 1667 in Ten Books Second edition published in 1674 in

reorganized in 12 books with some revisions

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Paradise Lost in 18th Century• Milton's epic achieved classical status in the last years of the seventeenth century, when it was

published with explanatory notes

• Twenty years later, its position was consolidated by an influential series of articles written by Joseph Addison in the Spectator (a daily paper).

• In 1732 Richard Bentley produced a corrected version of the poem claiming that the blind poet had employed an incompetent secretary, argued that the published version contains many errors of wording and logic

• Bentley's unjustified and insensitive revisions attracted widespread ridicule

• These revisions reflected, however, a feeling that Paradise Lost, though a national classic, was somehow unorthodox in its theological and philosophical outlook.

• Pope's poem, and indeed his earlier work Rape of the Lock, show another kind of response to Milton. They are 'mock-epics', and re-deploy elements of Milton's style (and, of course, that of his classical antecedents) to comic ends.

• Milton's achievement was felt to be so great that no contemporary poet could rival or match it: writing a serious epic would be out of the question.

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The End