In college, I took a class on the works of John Milton, and aside from reading a few of his sonnets here and there, the focus of the course was studying Paradise Lost. And it’s true–I actually read this piece, line by line. How nerdy am I?
I’m not one to read epic poems for fun, but Paradise Lost is an extraordinary piece of literature. It starts with Satan’s dramatic fall into the depths of hell (along with the rest of the rebel angels). Following their exile, the conversations that take place between the demons, as well as Satan’s strategic rise to power, is so fascinating. We then take a journey through the creation of man and the fall of man.
It took Milton about 5 years to complete all ten books of this poem. He wrote it in old age while suffering from physical illness and emotional traumas. And to add to that list, he wrote it while completely blind. Amazing, right?
Paradise Lost is like a beautiful symphony put into words. I guess it’d be tough to recommend it as leisure reading. But if you’re an English major and are assigned Paradise Lost – don’t skimp on it! You’ll miss out big time.