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It was certainly a very reclufe and ftudious life , that both he and his pupils led ; but the young men of that age were of a different turn from thofe of the prefent ; and he himself gave an example to those under him of hard ftudy and ...
... gracefulness of his delivery , or in thofe fallies of imagination and quaint turns and allufions , whereof his fermons are full ; for they retain not those charms in reading , which they were faid to have formerly in the pulpit .
And the fame reafon induced Dryden to turn the principal parts of Paradife Loft into rime in his Opera called the State of innocence and Fall of man ; to tag his lines , as Milton himself expreffed it , alluding to the fashion then of ...
and fimple , lefs figurative and metaphorical , and better fuited to the nature of history , has enough of the Latin turn and idiom to give it an air of antiquity , and fometimes rifes to a furprising dignity and majefty .
... the Holy Scriptures above all other books whatsoever ; and in all his writings he plainly fhoweth a religious turn of mind , as well in verfe as in profe , as well in his works of an earlier date as in thofe of later compofition .
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Chronicles the rise and fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. Begins with the crowning of the Son of God, moves to Lucifer's rebellion and fall, the beginning of the Earth, the birth of Adam and Eve, and how they fell prey to Satan's fraud.
Written in 10 syllable per line prose, which must have been very difficult. Milton was blind, which makes the accomplishment even more amazing. Parts of the book were wonderfully written (the battles with Satan, Eden, the creation of the Earth, the coming events as Adam and Eve are escorted from Eden by Archangel Michael), but others are difficult with many references to Greek characters. I'm sure Milton was brilliant, but those parts don't add much for me and make it seem as though he's being pretentious. I also disliked the way all the characters addressed each other: "Lo, great angel from Heaven, graceful and true of spirit." The pictures of the story in the book, while they received vast praise in the preface, were forgettable.
Still, I can't get away from the amazing work that Milton put here. My only real compliant was the blatant sexism that Adam had for Eve, assuming she was always inferior to him. That is no longer the way of the world, and I doubt Adam would have treated Eve thusly. Sin, Death. Satan, Michael and Raphael were my favorite characters, all providing memorable lines.