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the works of John Milton(1608-1674) have been the subject of more commentary than any other English writer except William Shakespeare.scholars have placed Milton among 'the small circle of great epic writers'.his works reflect two major intellectual and social eras in European history: the Renaissance(the transition from medieval to modern times) and the Reformation(a religious revolution of the 16th century).scholars point out the the Milton's use of the classical references and the rich complexity of his work as being Reanissance in nature while his 'earnest and individually minded christianity' conveys the themes of the reformation.
Milton's masterpiece,a blank verse(unrhymed)poem titled 'PARADISE LOST'first appeared in 1667 was divided into 10 books.a revisec edition of 12 books came out in 1674.considered one of the greatest epics(long narratives) of the english language,PARADISE LOST is Milton's attempt to account for evil in the world and to justify 'the ways of God to man'.he tells the story of the angel Satan,who rebelled against God and was thrown out of heaven.he also recounts the Biblical story of Adam and Eve,who were cast out of the garden of Eden and he depicts humainty's experiences with love,war and religion.Milton's portrayal of Satan is so dramatic and complex that many people have argued that Satan,not Adam,is the real hero of the poem.
Milton's other works include sonnets,short poems and political essays such as 'AREOPAGITICA'.among the ideas he championed were limiting the power of monarchs and bishops(church officials) and increasing the freedom of speech.
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