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In his way of living he was an example of sobriety and temperance . He was very
sparing in the use of wine or strong liquors of any kind . Let meaner poets make
use of such expedients to raise their fancy and kindle their imagination .
Their living strength , and unfrequented left His righteous altar , bowing lowly
down To bestial Gods ; for which their heads as low 435 Bow ' d down in battel ,
funk before the spear Of , 1437 . With these in troop . & c . mountain of corruption ,
And by command of Heav ' n ' s all - pow ' rful king I keep , by him forbidden to
unlock These adamantin gates ; against all force Death ready stands to interpose
his dart , Fearless to be o ' ermatch ' d by living might . 855 But what owe I to his ...
Living or lifeless to be found was none ; None yet , but store hereafter from the
earth Up hither like aereal vapors flew 445 Of all things transitory ' and vain ,
when fin With vanity had fill ' d the works of men ; Both all things vain , and all
who in ...
Join voices all ye living Souls ; ye Birds , That singing up to Heaven gate ascend ,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise . Ye 181 . - - that in quaternion
run & c . ] margin of the Bible ; and ver . 30 . That in a fourfold mixture and every ...
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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.