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am 13. Juli 2015
Gewohnte Qualität zum Schnäppchen-Preis. Schnelle Abwicklung, schnelle Lieferung, Perfekt.
Intern: Schafft endlich diese dämliche 20 Wörter Regel bei amazon ab.
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am 11. Juni 2000
Paradise Lost was not part of my core curriculum in science and mathematics. I was of course aware that scholars considered it a great work, a classic. But it seemed a bit daunting - long, difficult, dated, and possibly no longer relevant.
A few years ago I made two fortunate decisions. I elected to read Milton's Paradise Lost and I bought the Norton Critical Edition (edited by Scott Elledge). I read and reread Paradise Lost over a period of three months as well as the 300 pages of the Norton critical commentary. I was stunned by the beauty and power of Milton. Why had I waited so long to even approach such a literary masterpiece?
Make no mistake. I had been right in several ways. Paradise Lost is difficult, it is long, and full appreciation requires an understanding of the historical and religious context. But Paradise Lost is a remarkable achievement. It explores questions regarding man and God that are as relevant today as in the 17th century. And the genius of Milton has never been surpassed.
I found the Norton footnotes extremely helpful - definitions for rare or archaic words and expressions, explanations of the historical context, and links to the critical commentary section. The footnotes are at the page bottom, making them readily accessible.
The Norton biographical, historical, and literary commentaries were fascinating in their own right. I may well as spent as many hours reading commentary as with Paradise Lost itself.
John Milton led a remarkable life. His enthusiastic euology on Shakespeare was included in the second folio edition of Shakespeare in 1632. This was Milton's first public appearance as an author! While traveling as a young man he "found and visited" the great Galileo, old and blind, a house prisoner of the Inquisition for his astronomical heresy. Years later Milton, a close supporter of Cromwell, barely escaped the scaffold at the Restoration and was at risk for some period afterwards. Many considered Milton no more than an outcast, now old and blind himself, a republican and regicide who had escaped death by too much clemency. Within a few years this aging blind outcast created one of the masterpieces of the English language.
Milton broke all English tradition by writing Paradise Lost in blank verse. Homer in Greek and Vergil in Latin had used blank verse, but English demanded rhyme. Although others failed to imitate Milton's blank verse (I suspect that none wanted to be compared directly with genius), the praise was without exception. Dryden, a master of rhyme, is attributed with saying, "This man cuts us all out, and the ancients too".
Milton's characterization of Satan, Adam, Eve, the archangels Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel, and even God himself are masterful. The debates and arguments that evolve around free will, obedience, forbidden knowledge, love, evil, and guilt are timeless. And fascinating. And thought provoking.
Paradise Lost will require commitment and patience and thought. The commitment in time is substantial. (I enjoy Samuel Johnson's subtle comment: "None ever wished it longer than it is.") But the return is a personal experience with great literature, one of the masterpieces of the English language. I consider myself fortunate to have made such an investment.
0Kommentar| 11 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 9. Dezember 2005
Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till on greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat
Sing, Heavenly Muse...
Not a lot people know that 'Paradise Lost' has as a much lesser known companion piece 'Paradise Regained'; of course, it was true during Milton's time as it is today that the more harrowing and juicy the story, the better it will likely be remembered and received.
This is not to cast any aspersion on this great poem, however. It has been called, with some justification, the greatest English epic poem. The line above, the first lines of the first book of the poem, is typical of the style throughout the epic, in vocabulary and syntax, in allusiveness. The word order tends toward the Latinate, with the object coming first and the verb coming after.
Milton follows many classical examples by personifying characters such as Death, Chaos, Mammon, and Sin. These characters interact with the more traditional Christian characters of Adam, Eve, Satan, various angels, and God. He takes as his basis the basic biblical text of the creation and fall of humanity (thus, 'Paradise Lost'), which has taken such hold in the English-speaking world that many images have attained in the popular mind an almost biblical truth to them (in much the same way that popular images of Hell owe much to Dante's Inferno). The text of Genesis was very much in vogue in the mid-1600s (much as it is today) and Paradise Lost attained an almost instant acclaim.
John Milton was an English cleric, a protestant who nonetheless had a great affinity for catholic Italy, and this duality of interests shows in much of his creative writing as well as his religious tracts. Milton was nicknamed 'the divorcer' in his early career for writing a pamphlet that supported various civil liberties, including the right to obtain a civil divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, a very unpopular view for the day. Milton held a diplomatic post under the Commonwealth, and wrote defenses of the governments action, including the right of people to depose and dispose of a bad king.
Paradise Lost has a certain oral-epic quality to it, and for good reason. Milton lost his eyesight in 1652, and thus had to dictate the poem to several different assistants. Though influenced heavily by the likes of Virgil, Homer, and Dante, he differentiated himself in style and substance by concentrating on more humanist elements.
Say first -- for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell -- say first what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator and transgress his will,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Milton drops us from the beginning into the midst of the action, for the story is well known already, and proceeds during the course of the books (Milton's original had 10, but the traditional epic had 12 books, so some editions broke books VII and X into two books each) to both push the action forward and to give developing background -- how Satan came to be in Hell, after the war in heaven a description that includes perhaps the currently-most-famous line:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, that serve in heav'n.
(Impress your friends by knowing that this comes from Book I, lines 261-263 of Paradise Lost, rather than a Star Trek episode!)
The imagery of warfare and ambition in the angels, God's wisdom and power and wrath, the very human characterisations of Adam and Eve, and the development beyond Eden make a very compelling story, done with such grace of language that makes this a true classic for the ages. The magnificence of creation, the darkness and empty despair of hell, the manipulativeness of evil and the corruptible innocence of humanity all come through as classic themes. The final books of the epic recount a history of humanity, now sinful, as Paradise has been lost, a history in tune with typical Renaissance renderings, which also, in Milton's religious convictions, will lead to the eventual destruction of this world and a new creation.
A great work that takes some effort to comprehend, but yields great rewards for those who stay the course.
0Kommentar| 13 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 5. August 2011
Paradise Lost itself was reviewed plenty of times and doesn't need my praise. I just wanted to comment on this edition of the book, as a reference for future buyers.

Each book is prefaced by a short summary of the book itself. This seems a bit odd, since there's usually an interpretation of the book, or additional comments to help understand the contents in its place. Maybe it's to help readers understand what's going on in the story, since Milton's poem is notorious for its complexity and scale. Apart from that, there's no annotations of any kind, no footnotes, no interpretation or anything of the kind. The only thing it has apart from those summaries is an (unsourced) introduction, just five pages about both Milton's and Doré's involvement.

The book itself, I found, is more focused on the illustrations by Doré, rather than Milton's work. They're plenty and throughout the entire book usually with excerpts from the book as annotations. So the introduction, for example, gives a short history of Doré, and his role in and legacy of illustrating this book, which is now considered his most famous work.

I don't know much about art and didn't hear of Doré before, but I have to say I'm quite impressed. The drawings are all amazing and portray a fairly accurate depiction of what one would imagine those situations to be like, quite often even outdoing one's imagination (although that may be just me).

Also, one has to mention the overall look of the book, which is stunning. The quality of the hardcover as well as the typesetting and print of every single page look exceedingly beautiful, turning each page is simply visually pleasing.

However, and I admit this is a personal issue, I wasn't really looking for a pretty book. In fact, I wasn't really looking for an illustrated book at all, just a book that handed me the original text, with no interpretations and no footnotes, something I can read at my own pace and at my own discretion (can't believe how hard it is to find a version like that). The drawings, while beautiful can be a bit distracting at times. Also, because of those the book itself is huge, which makes it complicated to read leisurely, or to take it with you, whether it's for work or even on vacation. I won't resell it, it's nice to have (and show), but I'm still looking for a more portable version of the same text.

Apart from that, this is an excellent edition and I'd recommend it. Giving anything less than 5 stars for Milton's work, even if printed on toilet paper, would be a crime against literature. I wanna stress again, that any concerns I have with this edition are of a purely personal nature. The quality of the book is excellent, and deserves a full rating just for that as well.
0Kommentar| 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 11. Februar 1999
So important in modern literature that a lot of people credit the Bible with things that were actually the imagination of Milton in "Paradise Lost." A long twisty tumbling poem that never loses its meaning from the first word to the last. The characterization of Lucifer is unlike any I've ever read, and the most powerful passage in the story is Lucifer addressing the legions of hell, ordering them to do whatever they can to thwart God, while tears of sadness at the loss of heaven stream down his face. Milton played with both typical and atypical views of sin and damnation and created something so timeless that lots of us don't know he imagined it.
In any discussion of religion, I wouldn't leave home without it.
0Kommentar| Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 4. Dezember 1998
Be not mistaken: this is the finest piece of literature ever written. Ever. About anything. Few books even draw close. This is Milton's tribute to the English language - the English epic poem that draws near then surpasses Homer's Oddyssey (greek) and Dante's Divine Comedy (italian) The story of Satan's fall, creation, Adam and Eve, and the Fall of Man. I have read it three times in the last eight weeks and there are still new twists and tangles in it I am uncovering. It is simply, truly amazing. It is an experience. It is a revelation. I am not exaggerating. Ask C.S. Lewis. PS - I am not an intellectual. I am a 21 year old student who has found gold.
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am 11. Januar 1999
I am only 16 years old, and I read this book for interest's sake last fall. I liked it so much that I asked for it for Christmas--and got two copies! This book is a masterpiece. Though many people consider Shakespeare to be an even greater literary genius than Milton, I think that Milton was the best of the time. His ideas and the way that he fills out the story is amazing. He has so many unique ideas and thoughts! I had to stop all the time during this book to ponder the truths of what Milton wrote. I definately recommend this book--to readers of any age!
0Kommentar| 5 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 8. April 2000
If one is willing to spend the time delving into this great work (and it should be noted that it takes a lot of time & patience to do so), one should spend the few extra $$ and pick up the Norton Critical Edition. The advantage of this publication is that not only do you get the poem itself, but you also receive critical essays written on the work by such personages as Scott Elledge (who also edited the book), Voltaire, Viginia Woolfe, John Keats, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Christopher Ricks and Harold Bloom (just to name a few). For the serious student of Milton, the literary criticism that has been written is nearly as important as the poem itself.
"Paradise Lost" is the Protestant counterpart to Dante's "Divne Comedy." That is to say, it is the epic poem of the Protestant tradition just as Dante's work is the great epic poem of the Catholic heritage. Unlike Dante, however, English speaking people do not have to worry about anything getting lost in translation, for Milton wrote in English. Great works written in English were fairly sparse before the time of Shakespeare, and this is one of the few great epic works to be written in English since .
What "PL" deals with is the fall of Satan & the subsequent fall of man. Milton attempts to "justify the ways of God to man" as he says in his famous line. Whether he does this or not is a matter of opinion, but what is not in debate is that he wrote an extraordinary piece of literature.
Milton uses the famous "free will" defense for evil in the world and gives us a panoramic vision of heaven, hell, the garden of Eden and the entire cosmos. Regardless of whether people accept this position, Milton offers the best example of the free will argument that I have ever read.
We also get to meet Satan (Lucifer) and in many ways we get to know him even better than God. It has even been said that Satan is actually the "hero" of the tale even though Satan ultimately loses (sort of like Ahab in Melville's "Moby Dick"). While this point has come under much scrutiny,what I can say is that Satan is a magnificent fellow. His speeches are generally the most dramatic & powerful and he has the most memorable lines (such as the infamous "It is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven").
So, for anyone remotely interested in literature, religion or philosophy, I would HIGHLY recommend this poem. You may just find there some ideas which you have never thought of before. An outstanding epic poem which ranks up there with the works of Dante, Virgil, Homer, Shelley and Goethe.
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am 10. Mai 1999
I read Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass and "The Subtle Knife", the first two books of the His Dark Materials trilogy, which is based around the idea of a second War in Heaven and another Fall. They are really incredible. While waiting for the third book to be released, I decided to read Paradise Lost, one of Philip Pullman's main inspirations and the source of a lot of the allusions. Paradise Lost is surprisingly readable for a book that was published in 1667. I understood it, even with the older edition I read which didn't have much of a readers' guide, and I'm only 15. Even though you don't always understand every word and every mythological allusion, you can always get the basic idea, especially with some help from the footnotes. If you read it alone, you might find it boring, but I would strongly recommend reading the His Dark Materials books first. They discuss a lot of the ideas in Paradise Lost. (Was Satan right to rebel against God?) Then when you read P.L., you will enjoy seeing where Philip Pullman got some of his ideas. You can't help but like the His Dark Materials books, then when you read Paradise Lost you understand them so much more. Everyone over the age of 14 should read them both.
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am 8. Februar 2006
Of Man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till on greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat
Sing, Heavenly Muse...
Not a lot people know that 'Paradise Lost' has as a much lesser known companion piece 'Paradise Regained'; of course, it was true during Milton's time as it is today that the more harrowing and juicy the story, the better it will likely be remembered and received.
This is not to cast any aspersion on this great poem, however. It has been called, with some justification, the greatest English epic poem. The line above, the first lines of the first book of the poem, is typical of the style throughout the epic, in vocabulary and syntax, in allusiveness. The word order tends toward the Latinate, with the object coming first and the verb coming after.
Milton follows many classical examples by personifying characters such as Death, Chaos, Mammon, and Sin. These characters interact with the more traditional Christian characters of Adam, Eve, Satan, various angels, and God. He takes as his basis the basic biblical text of the creation and fall of humanity (thus, 'Paradise Lost'), which has taken such hold in the English-speaking world that many images have attained in the popular mind an almost biblical truth to them (in much the same way that popular images of Hell owe much to Dante's Inferno). The text of Genesis was very much in vogue in the mid-1600s (much as it is today) and Paradise Lost attained an almost instant acclaim.
John Milton was an English cleric, a protestant who nonetheless had a great affinity for catholic Italy, and this duality of interests shows in much of his creative writing as well as his religious tracts. Milton was nicknamed 'the divorcer' in his early career for writing a pamphlet that supported various civil liberties, including the right to obtain a civil divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, a very unpopular view for the day. Milton held a diplomatic post under the Commonwealth, and wrote defenses of the governments action, including the right of people to depose and dispose of a bad king.
Paradise Lost has a certain oral-epic quality to it, and for good reason. Milton lost his eyesight in 1652, and thus had to dictate the poem to several different assistants. Though influenced heavily by the likes of Virgil, Homer, and Dante, he differentiated himself in style and substance by concentrating on more humanist elements.
Say first -- for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
Nor the deep tract of Hell -- say first what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator and transgress his will,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides?
Milton drops us from the beginning into the midst of the action, for the story is well known already, and proceeds during the course of the books (Milton's original had 10, but the traditional epic had 12 books, so some editions broke books VII and X into two books each) to both push the action forward and to give developing background -- how Satan came to be in Hell, after the war in heaven a description that includes perhaps the currently-most-famous line:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, that serve in heav'n.
(Impress your friends by knowing that this comes from Book I, lines 261-263 of Paradise Lost, rather than a Star Trek episode!)
The imagery of warfare and ambition in the angels, God's wisdom and power and wrath, the very human characterisations of Adam and Eve, and the development beyond Eden make a very compelling story, done with such grace of language that makes this a true classic for the ages. The magnificence of creation, the darkness and empty despair of hell, the manipulativeness of evil and the corruptible innocence of humanity all come through as classic themes. The final books of the epic recount a history of humanity, now sinful, as Paradise has been lost, a history in tune with typical Renaissance renderings, which also, in Milton's religious convictions, will lead to the eventual destruction of this world and a new creation.
A great work that takes some effort to comprehend, but yields great rewards for those who stay the course.
This edition includes more than 50 pages of Milton's other poetry, including sonnets; there are also extensive sections of the KJV biblical text that directly relates to themes in Paradise Lost. Dozens of essays of literary criticism, from the likes of Voltaire, Dryden, Blake, Keats and Wordsworth as well as contemporary commentators such as Bloom, Frye and Adams complete this critical Norton edition.
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