Milton's Paradise Lost is one of the greatest epic poems in the English language. It tells the story of the Fall of Man, a tale of immense drama and excitement, of rebellion and treachery, of innocence pitted against corruption, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle rages across three worlds - heaven, hell, and earth - as Satan and his band of rebel angels plot their revenge against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Marked by Milton's characteristic erudition is a work epic both in scale and, notoriously, in ambition. For nearly 350 years it has held generation upon generation of scholars, students and readers in rapt attention and its profound influence can be seen in almost every corner of Western culture.
Even a dozen critical essays, representative of the postmodern wave that has largely displaced liberal humanism in English studies in the years in which they were written (1970-96), do not dethrone Satan as the flawed hero of Milton's masterwork. Contributors vivisect, yet manage to convey, the contemporary relevance of the seminal 17th century epic poem with interpretations from Marxist/ historicist, feminist, psychoanalytic, and poststructuralist approaches. The editor provides a concisely informative introduction to the English Revolution and modern contexts for deconstructing . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)