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Inside Paradise LostReading the Designs of Milton's Epic$
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David Quint

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161914

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Inside Paradise Lost
Author(s):

David Quint

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161914.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides an overview of John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). Paradise Lost tells the story of two falls. There is the unending fall of Satan and his followers, and there is the Fall—and spiritual regeneration—of Adam and Eve. Satan's story is the old epic dispensation, the search for temporal power as a zero-sum game driven by envy and the desire for glory above one's peers. It can only culminate in kingship, war, and destruction—and in alienation from God in a literal or mental hell. The fall of Adam and Eve tells the story of the new dispensation of Milton's epic: of how love between human beings, here exemplified in marital love, enables the love of God; of the experience of spiritual goods that exceed finite temporal ones; of hope for an existence beyond the finitude of death.

Keywords:   John Milton, Paradise Lost, Satan, Adam and Eve, temporal power, hell, marital love, God

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