annagroovy's review against another edition

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4.0

This was my second read of Paradise Lost, this time for my literary history class. It's certainly a hefty read, and not something I think I would ever pick up for enjoyment/light reading, but it's undeniably a great work.

Two parts stand out to me in particular. One is Satan's soliloquy before descending to Eden to corrupt Adam and Eve, and I love it because it's so incredibly relatable. He essentially acknowledges that he had a pretty sweet gig in Heaven and he was wrong in leading all of the other angels to ruin, but going back now and admitting he's at fault would be, like, embarrassing: "is there no place / Left for repentance, none for pardon left? / None left but by submission; and that word / Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame / Among the Spirits beneath."

The second is a little more humorous; it's after Satan has corrupted Adam and Eve and he returns to Hell in a blaze of glory, rallying his troops together with a rousing speech about all the trials he's undergone and how he's going to lead them all out of Hell to rule over humanity. He pauses, "expecting / Their universal shout and high applause / To fill his ear, when contrary he hears / On all sides, from innumerable tongues / A dismal universal hiss." Satan's moment of glory is stolen by the fact that he and the other fallen angels have been transformed into serpents by God. I don't know exactly why, but the entire rhetorical situation just strikes me as absurdly funny: here's this benevolent dictator who just wants some applause, and what he gets instead is hisses. Because everyone is snakes now. LOL.

Misogyny against Eve aside, I love this epic so much. Except for the extended metaphors in which Milton has this formula where he basically goes "As [insert Greco-Roman mythological character and their actions in here], so-and-so did THIS." But that's probably a little petty of me.

oldpondnewfrog's review against another edition

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5.0

Rich, epic. Such language. Very compelling devils (their speeches about what to do now that they're in Hell are some of my favorite ones in all the book). And Satan, finally renouncing good; and Adam's ridiculous love for Eve. But man, that language! Nouns for verbs, nouns for adjectives, verbs left unsaid, Yoda syntax, "because in thee Love hath abounded more than glory abounds," everything very rich and romantic, like weighty cloth.
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