Paradise Lost: Parallel Prose Edition

Paradise Lost: Parallel Prose Edition

4.8 669
by John Milton
     
 

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John Milton’s epic story of cosmic rebellion and the beginning of human history has long been considered one of the greatest and most gripping narratives ever written in English. Yet its intensely poetic language, now-antiquated syntax and vocabulary, and dense allusions to mythical and Biblical figures make it inaccessible to many modern readers. This is,

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Overview

John Milton’s epic story of cosmic rebellion and the beginning of human history has long been considered one of the greatest and most gripping narratives ever written in English. Yet its intensely poetic language, now-antiquated syntax and vocabulary, and dense allusions to mythical and Biblical figures make it inaccessible to many modern readers. This is, as the critic Harold Bloom wrote in 2000, “a great sorrow, and a true cultural loss.”

Dennis Danielson aims to open up Milton’s epic for a twenty-first-century readership by providing a fluid, accessible rendition in contemporary prose alongside the original. The edition allows readers to experience the power of the original poem without barriers to understanding.

Editorial Reviews

Stanley Fish
"[Dennis] Danielson...has fashioned a powerful pedagogical tool that is a gift to any teacher of Milton whatever the level of instruction."
From the Publisher

“[Dennis] Danielson … has fashioned a powerful pedagogical tool that is a gift to any teacher of Milton whatever the level of instruction.” — Stanley Fish, The New York Times, 2008

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554810970
Publisher:
Broadview Press
Publication date:
02/23/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill 10
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s Brook that flow’d
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th’ upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know’st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread 20
Dove like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad’st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

Tell the story, Heavenly Muse: of humankind’s first trespass, of forbidden fruit whose lethal taste brought death and sorrow to our world, and drove us out of Eden—until one greater human should redeem us and regain the happy place we lost. You, on the shrouded peak of Horeb or Sinai, inspired that shepherd who first taught God’s chosen people how, in the beginning, the heavens and the earth rose out of chaos. Now I ask: Be my inspirer too. Or if Mount Zion pleases you more, with Siloam’s waters flowing near the temple of God, then from there I seek your help. For my daring story aims to surpass the ancient muses of Helicon, striving to achieve what no one, in poetry or prose, has ever even attempted. And above all, you who would rather indwell a pure and upright heart than any other temple—you, Spirit, I seek as my teacher; for you know. In the very beginning you were there, like a dove spreading your wings across the vast abyss, infusing it with life. So now give light to me, banish my darkness, and lift me up onto solid ground, that I may scale the heights of this mighty theme: to affirm eternal providence, and justify the ways of God to humankind.

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Meet the Author

Dennis Danielson is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Milton and author of Milton’s Good God: A Study in Literary Theodicy, among other titles.

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Paradise Lost 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 669 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not read it clearly to many typos.
Mandy Jarvis More than 1 year ago
Half the time I could figure out what the words where suppose to be. The miss spellings could be so bad at times that meanings of entire sentences were lost.
Seghetto More than 1 year ago
Milton is hard to read. The language of the late 1600's seemed impenetrable to me at first, but Teskey's notes helped me through it. Not much has to be said about the poem itself: it is cemented in the canon of the English language as a masterpiece. One thing I was surprised by was the sympathetic construction of Satan. He is not an evil character, he is just angry and even embodies human traits. This edition also includes John Milton's work Areopogatica about the Church of England and their licensing rights. I was moved by Milton's defense of free speech.
DCDONLEY More than 1 year ago
Hard to follow yet worth reading. Modern versions of this text often bastardize the real meaning. If you have read a newer version you would do well to read this if not another more concise version to get the full meaning of 'Paradise Lost'.
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