Paradise Lost Questions and Answers
by John Milton

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epic Discuss Milton's Paradise Lost as an epic?

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Here is a list of the most common characteristics of an epic.  Milton clearly follows the conventions of this form of literature.

I posted an answer in the question and answer section of enotes on Paradise Lost linked below for a more detailed discussion of the following list.

  1. Long narrative poem, usually written in blank verse.
  2. Starts "in medias res"
  3. Starts with an address to a muse. 
  4. Uses an elevated style. 
  5. Tells the story of a cultural hero. 
  6. Reflects the society in which it was written.

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