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An epic poem in blank verse, considered by many scholars to be one of the greatest poems of the English language. Paradise Lost tells the biblical story of the fall from grace of Adam and Eve (and, by extension, all humanity) in language that is a supreme achievement of rhythm and sound. The main characters in the poem are God, Lucifer (Satan), Adam, and Eve. Much has been written about Milton's powerful and sympathetic characterization of Satan. The Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley saw Satan as the real hero of the poem and applauded his rebellion against the tyranny of Heaven. Many other works of art have been inspired by Paradise Lost, notably Joseph Haydn's oratorio The Creation (1798) and John Keats's long poem "Endymion" (1818). Milton's Paradise Regained (1671) dramatizes the temptation of Christ.
Paradise Lost is about Adam and Eve--how they came to be created and how they came to lose their place in the Garden of Eden, also called Paradise. It's the same story you find in the first pages of Genesis, expanded by Milton into a very long, detailed, narrative poem. It also includes the story of the origin of Satan. Originally he was called Lucifer, an angel in heaven who led his followers in a war against God, and was ultimately sent with them to hell. Thirst for revenge led him to cause man's downfall by turning into a serpent and tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.--Submitted by Anonymous.
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In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
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