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This first book proposes , first in brief , the whole subject , Man ' s disobedience ,
and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac ' d : Then touches the
prime cause of his fall , the Serpent , or rather Satan in the serpent ; who revolting
His opening west , but the sense is that the and clofing the debate ; his taking
throne of Satan outlhone diamonds , on himself that great enterprise at or pearl
and gold , the choicest the thought of which the whole in - whereof are produced
Satan alighted walks : a globe far off It seem ' d , now seems a boundless
continent Dark , waste , and wild , under the frown of Night Starless expos ' d ,
and ever - threatning storms 425 Of Chaos blust ' ring round , inclement sky ;
Save on that ...
Satan now in prospect of Eden , and nigh the place where he must now attempt
the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man , falls into
many doubts with himself , and many passions , fear , envy , and despair ; but at ...
Why haft thou , Satan , broke the bounds prescrib ' d To thy tranfgreffions , and
disturb ' d the charge Of others , who approve not to transgress 880 By thy
example , but have pow ' r and right To question thy bold entrance on this place ;
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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.