Paradise Lost has been justifiably called the greatest English epic poem. Milton takes us immediately into the action of the tale, gliding over what we all know from the Bible, developing the story's background as he goes. We learn how Satan came to be in Hell after the war in heaven, see warfare and the ambitions of the angels -- come to know God's wisdom, power and His wrath. Milton gives us characters who personify Death, Chaos, Mammon and Sin, and they interact with more traditional figures -- Adam, Eve, Satan and yes, God.
John Milton (1608 - 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse. Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)-written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship-is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.