John Milton: Paradise Lost

(4877 words)
  • Albert Labriola (Duquesne University )

John Milton (1608-1674) composed Paradise Lost as his magnum opus, an epic of almost 11,000 lines. Though the dates of composition are uncertain, the work was published in ten books in 1667, then slightly revised and restructured into twelve books for the 1674 edition. At the behest of his printer, Milton in the later edition included prose arguments at the head of each book to provide a synopsis of the action, to identify major characters, and to facilitate the understanding of readers. The narrative begins with the defeat of Satan after his failed attempt to overthrow the godhead, follows him through the stages of his vengeful plot to subvert God's newest creation, humankind, and achieves its climax at the downfall of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Labriola, Albert. "Paradise Lost". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 November 2004
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]