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About the Author: John Milton

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse.

Milton's poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day. Writing in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, he achieved international renown within his lifetime, and his celebrated Areopagitica (1644)—written in condemnation of pre-publication censorship—is among history's most influential and impassioned defenses of free speech and freedom of the press.

William Hayley's 1796 biography called him the "greatest English author," and he remains generally regarded "as one of the preeminent writers in the English language," though critical reception has oscillated in the centuries since his death (often on account of his republicanism). Samuel Johnson praised Paradise Lost as "a poem which...with respect to design may claim the first place, and with respect to performance, the second, among the productions of the human mind," though he (a Tory and recipient of royal patronage) described Milton's politics as those of an "acrimonious and surly republican".

Because of his republicanism, Milton has been the subject of centuries of British partisanship.



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Paperback, Published in Jun 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN10: 0199535744 | ISBN13: 9780199535743

Page count: 317

From almost the moment of its publication in 1667, Paradise Lost was considered a classic. It is difficult now to appreciate how audacious an undertaking the epic represents, and how astonishing its immediate and continued success was. Over the course of twelve books John Milton wrote an epic poem that would "justify the ways of God to men," a mission that required a complex drama, the source of which is both historical and deeply personal. While the struggle for ascendancy between God and Satan is played out across hell, heaven, and earth in the work, the consequences of the Fall are all too humanly tragic, with pride, ambition, and aspiration being the motivating forces. In this new edition derived from their acclaimed Oxford Authors text, Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg discuss the complexity of Milton's Paradise Lost in a new introduction. They contextualize Milton and his poem, discuss its structure and language, and provide a summary of critical responses to the poem since its initial publication. They also include on-page notes to explain the poem's language and allusions. This modernized edition of one of the most influential works in the English language will truly bring to light Milton's genius for today's reader.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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