Beginning with the story of Satan after he was expelled from Heaven along with his followers, Paradise Lost details Satan's journey to the Garden of Eden and his intent to destroy God's new creation. The poem also depicts the perspectives of both Adam and Eve, examining their personalities and motivations before and after Eve's fateful temptation.
After publishing Paradise Lost, author John Milton was immediately recognized and lauded as one of the greatest English poets. Paradise Lost has since 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.