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For the work “ itself I had view ' d some good while before with “ fingular delight ,
having received it from our com“ mon friend Mr . R . in the very close of the late “
R ' s poems printed at Oxford ; whereunto it is " added , as I now suppose , that ...
We may suppose that Milton was not a little pleased with the honors conferred
upon him by so many persons of distinction , and especially by one of such
quality and eminence as the Marquis , of Villa ; and as a testimony of his gratitude
... with the Imprimatur by Thomas Tomkyns chaplain to the Archbishop of
Canterbury : so that tho ' Milton was forced to make use of different hands to write
his verses from time to time as he had occasion , yet we may suppose that the
copy for ...
The principal trary you should suppose an ani . actors are Man in his greatest per
- mal of ten thousand furlongs in fection , and Woman in her highest length , the
eye would be so filled beauty . Their enemies are the with a single part of it , that
... difficulty , unless we suppose with words emigreal and empyrean are Dr .
Heylin that the word empyreal both spelt in the same manner , yet is false spelt ,
and that it ought to Milton confiantly pronounces em - be written empyrial ut velit
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.