by John Milton
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Paradise Lost is widely
regarded as the greatest English-language poem of all
time. Published in 1667, the epic is written in 12
sections of blank verse. Milton was blind when he wrote
the majority of the poem, and transcribed it to his
daughters. The poem is a fascinating look at the
characters of the Garden of Eden. Adam, Eve, God, and
Satan engage in a struggle, much like they do in the
Hebrew Bible. Milton claimed his purpose in writing was
to "justify the ways of God to men" and to reconcile what
he saw as a gap between the free will of humans and God's
omniscience. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the
poem, and one profitable for long-time Christians to
observe, is the fact that Adam and Eve have personalities. Milton adds
several books worth of narrative about their sinless life in the garden
pre-Fall, and readers catch a glimpse of their emotions - pleasure,
temptation, guilt, and lust. Paradise Lost is a valuable work of
literature, particularly for Christians as it addresses the age-old
battle of whether free will exists for created humans. Though the
poetry is challenging to read (Milton intended it to be so), those who
wade their way through the tale will come away with a fresh perspective
on the classic story of Eden.
CCEL Staff Writer
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