[A]n exemplary job both of presenting the major topics of Paradise Lost and of entering the selva oscura of Milton criticism... Students and scholars alike will appreciate the balanced approach to the complexities, difficulties, and conundrums of Milton's poem and the criticism on it. Kastan's prose is not just lively but chiseled, and it is destined to affect students. --Patrick Cheney, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 Kastan is an exemplary editor, attuned to emerging critical currents, yet steeped in the scholarship of an earlier tradition, aware of the text's provenance and reception, alert to its topicality. His introduction, a model of theoretically informed, politically committed, historically grounded criticism, makes this edition of Paradise Lost all you would expect from one of the most erudite and perceptive figures in the field. --Willy Maley, Modern Language Review This is a superb edition, a model of careful editing and judicious annotation. --Leslie Brisman, Department of English, Yale University
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Paradise Lost is the greatest epic poem in the English language. In words remarkable for their richness of rhythm and imagery, Milton tells the story of Man's creation, fall and redemption - to "justify the ways of God to men". Milton produced characters which have become embedded in the consciousness of English literature - the frail, human pair, Adam and Eve; the terrible cohort of fallen angels; and Satan, tragic and heroic in his unremitting quest for revenge. The tale unfolds from the aftermath of the great battle between good and evil to the moving departure of Adam and Eve from Eden, with human and eternal auguish intertwined in magnificent resonance. With music by Williams Lawes.