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Some alterations indeed are necessary to be made in consequence of the late
improvements in printing , with regard to the use of capital letters , Italic
characters , and the spelling of some words : but to Milton ' s own spelling ( for we
Is flat despair : we must exasperate , Th ' almighty victor to spend all his rage , . . .
vy And that must end us , that must be our cure , 145 To be no more ; fad cure ; for
who would lose , Though full of pain , this intellectual being , so Those ...
Not free , what proof could they have giv ' n fincere Of true allegiance , constant
faith or love , Where only what they needs must do appear ' d , 105 Not what they
would ? what praise could they receive ? What pleasure I from such obedience ...
Till they inthrall themselves ; I else must change 125 Their nature , and revoke
the high decree Unchangeable , eternal , which ordain ' d Their freedom , they
themselves ordain ' d their fall . The first fort by their own suggestion fell , Self ...
210 But to destruction facred and devote , He with his whole posterity must die ,
Die he or justice must ; unless for him Some other able , and as willing , pay The
rigid satisfaction , death for death . Say heav ' nly Pow ' rs , where shall we find ...
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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.