Paradise Lost is widely regarded as the greatest English-language poem of all time. Published in 1667, the epic is written in 12 sections of blank verse. The poem is a fascinating look at the characters of the Garden of Eden. Adam, Eve, God, and Satan engage in a struggle, much like they do in the Hebrew Bible. Milton claimed his purpose in writing was to justify the ways of God to men and to reconcile what he saw as a gap between the free will of humans and God's omniscience. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the poem is the fact that Adam and Eve have personalities. Milton adds several books worth of narrative about their sinless life in the garden pre-Fall, and readers catch a glimpse of their emotions - pleasure, temptation, guilt, and lust. Though the poetry is challenging to read (Milton intended it to be so), those who wade their way through the tale will come away with a fresh perspective on the classic story of Eden. -Abby Zwart, CCEL Staff Writer
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