Last modified on November 21, 2022, at 06:51

Paradise Lost

"Paradise Lost" is an epic poem by John Milton, originally published in 1667. It describes Satan and the fall of man in twelve books. Many contemporary scholars consider it the greatest modern epic and a valuable treatise on the nature of mankind as a faulted being.

Milton followed up with "Paradise Regained" in 1671 which described the temptations of Christ.



Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.... (I.1-3)
And justify the ways of God to men. (I.26)
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. (I.254-255)
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. (I.263)
All hell broke loose. (IV.918)
Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her seat,
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost. (IX.782-84)
Some natural tears they dropp’d, but wip’d them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They hand in hand, with wand’ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way. (XII.645-49)

Further reading

  • Bradford, Richard. The Complete Critical Guide to John Milton (2001) online edition
  • Richmond, H. The Christian Revolutionary: John Milton (1974)
  • Wedgwood, C.V. Milton and his world‎ (1969) good introduction
  • online books and articles on Milton

Primary sources

External links