The first time I heard the title of Milton’s most famous work (sans any synopsis or summary) was in Russian. For some reason, in Russian, the title didn’t strike me as anything unique or unusual. So I forgot about it.
The second time was at some point in high school when I started reading more English literature. Paradise Lost. Not ‘Lost Paradise’. Not ‘Paradise Is Lost’ or anything like that. The two words, Paradise and Lost, in English and in that order, made me see thousands of images in my head, ranging from what the poem actually turned out to be about to a post-apocalyptic plot (haha, imagine any XVII century writer writing in the genre). I set out on a journey, like an RPG-character on a quest, and Googled the title of the poem. Expecting something short like The Raven, I was surprised when I’d seen quite a lot of text. I was undaunted though. Wielding the ability of reading, the artefact of focus and the virtue of patience, I continued my quest. Upon rereading the first few lines of the First Book, I gave up as I understood nothing.
It didn’t leave me though, this work of Milton’s. I kept encountering it on the Internet, it was mentioned by several people, quoted by the same or other people, and finally, it turned out to be the favorite book of one of the main characters in a book I was reading.
The signs of Fate were clear.
I came upon Paradise Lost once again… and I was shocked. Awed. Amazed. Struck by lightning. Attacked by a multitude of emotions. Ambushed by the power of masterpiece. Though while reading I’m steadily moving towards the whole Paradise being lost, this feels like a heavenly experience.
I’m a slow reader when it comes to poems because I like to savor every word, and since with Milton I have to reread some passages to get the meaning, the process is slower than usual. As a result, I’ve gotten to Book Four in the last few days. So (Spoiler alert. Sort of. Then again, you’ve definitely heard about this before) Satan fell to hell, discussed his future endeavors with his demon lackeys, set out on a journey to corrupt the human race and the Son of God volunteered to die for the salvation of mankind.
What I love about Milton is that, once you get used to his specific style of narration and spelling, he manages to enrapture you with quaint metaphors and vivid descriptions, strong emotions and dark themes. I know I’ll be haunted by his descriptions of hell and the whole Satan-Sin-Death scenario.
All in all, I’m looking forward to a great read. I’ll be posting the best (in my humble opinion) quotes from Paradise Lost while I read it. Then, I’ll probably post a proper review.
If you’ve read Paradise Lost, what are your thoughts on it? Did you find it difficult? amazing? amusing? (I definitely laughed out loud at some parts)
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinion on this=)