The epic poem Paradise Lost tells the story of the fall of man. The poem details Satan's journey to the Garden of Eden and his intent to destroy God's new creation, and examines the personalities and motivations of Adam and Eve, before and after the fateful temptation. Paradise Regained was published four years after Paradise Lost, and alternatively focuses on the temptation of Christ and the recapturing on all that man had lost in Paradise Lost.
After publishing Paradise Lost, author John Milton was immediately recognized and lauded as one of the greatest English poets. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained have influenced numerous poets and writers, including many of the Romantics, William Blake, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and T. S. Eliot.
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John Milton was a seventeenth-century English poet, polemicist, and civil servant in the government of Oliver Cromwell. Among Milton's best-known works are the classic epic Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, considered one of the greatest accomplishments in English blank verse, and Samson Agonistes.
Writing during a period of tremendous religious and political change, Milton's theology and politics were considered radical under King Charles I, found acceptance during the Commonwealth period, and were again out of fashion after the Restoration, when his literary reputation became a subject for debate due to his unrepentant republicanism. T.S. Eliot remarked that Milton's poetry was the hardest to reflect upon without one's own political and theological beliefs intruding.