John Milton Publishes Paradise Lost (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: John Milton publishes Paradise Lost, justifying the ways of God to man in an epic poem that is adopted by later poets and readers as a key text in the struggle for human liberty.
Summary of Event
Milton’s epic poem was first published in ten books in 1667 and in twelve books in a second edition (1674). The poem’s composition may have begun as early as the 1650’s and was based on an outline conceived sometime near 1640. Milton initially conceived of his work as a sacred drama modeled on Greek classical tragedy, and his final version contains long speeches reminiscent of soliloquies in Elizabethan plays.
Paradise Lost was the product of Milton’s long career of dissent. He disliked the ritualism of the Church of England, giving up his plan to become a minister and resolving to be a poet. In 1639, he supported the attempts of Presbyterians to reform the Church of England and published several pamphlets on the reformation of England and its church. He gradually broke away from the Presbyterians and took a more radical stand, writing that subjects had the right to depose and execute an unworthy...
(The entire section is 1441 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!