‘An endless moral maze, introducing literature’s first Romantic, Satan’ John Carey
In his epic poem Paradise Lost Milton conjured up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos ranging across huge tracts of space and time. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties – blind, bitter and briefly in danger of execution – Paradise Lost’s apparent ambivalence has led to intense debate about whether it manages to ‘justify the ways of God to men’ or exposes the cruelty of authority.
Edited with an introduction and notes by JOHN LEONARD