I would recommend this be read by everyone with an interest in literature, especially poets who could learn a lot from Milton's mastery of recreating Ovid's style in English form.
Paradise Lost expands upon the Christian version of the Genesis story and tells of Lucifer's rebellion against the kingdom of Heaven, the descent into the Inferno, and the angelic war that denied Eden from mankind.
Though the poem is centered around many different characters, the main driver of the plot is Satan. He is an anti-hero who, though greedy and prideful, holds a sort of Promethean quality that cannot be extinguished. It is a story of his quest for freedom and the corruption of his gifts. We see the faithful angel fall into the depths of despair and rise again to become the prince of demons and challenge his former king's right to rule.
The main theme of the poem is loss and self-redemption. Every character loses what they once had and learns to deal with the circumstance of their new being. Satan loses his Honor, God loses his Paradise, and Mankind is cast from Eden.
I highly recommend one find a copy of this classic that includes the illustrations of Gustave Doré. The engravings by this classic artist really capture the atmosphere as Milton Intended.
What did you think of this review?