Paradise Regained

by John Milton

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 254

Paradise Regained, by John Milton, is an epic narrative poem and a sequel to Paradise Lost, Milton’s most famous work. Whereas Paradise Lost focuses on Lucifer’s fall from Heaven and Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden of Eden, Paradise Regained focuses on the temptation of Christ, as Satan tries to lead him into temptation, offering him worldly pleasures, such as wealth and riches.

Paradise Regained is much shorter than its predecessor and has much simpler language, which appears to reflect the simplicity of Jesus’ life and teachings. However, many scholars have examined Milton’s work in the context of his life and times, and based on the sociopolitical climate in the 1600s and Milton’s revolutionary political views, it has been widely suggested that both Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are not so much spiritual epics as political satires. Milton was a political activist, and he went to prison for his avid republicanism and anti-monarchical views. He defended the idea of a free commonwealth, he wanted to obliterate the monarchy, and his early political writings stressed the importance of religious and civil freedoms. When the monarchy was restored to England in 1660 and Charles II took the crown, however, Milton was unable to express his views safely and landed in prison. Therefore, it is widely believed that Milton used his narrative poems to continue to express his views, but to express them in allegorical language. In doing so, he created not only a literary epic, but a satire of Tudor England.

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