John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667) is a literary landmark. His reworking of Biblical tales of the loss of Eden constitutes not only a gripping literary work, but a significant musing on fundamental human concerns ranging from freedom and fate to conscience and consciousness.
Designed for students new to Milton's complex, lengthy work, this sourcebook:
* outlines the often unfamiliar contexts of seventeenth-century England which are so crucial to Paradise Lost
* completes the contextual study with a chronology and reprinted documents from the period
* examines and reprints a broad range of responses to the poem, from early reactions to recent criticism
* reprints the most frequently studied passages of the poem, along with extensive commentary and annotation of unfamiliar or significant terms used in Milton's work
* provides cross-references between the textual, contextual and critical sections of the sourcebook, to show how all the materials can be called upon in an individual reader's encounter with the text
* suggests further reading for those facing the huge array of critical work on the poem.
With an emphasis on enjoying as well as understanding what can be a somewhat daunting work, this sourcebook will be a welcome resource for anyone new to Paradise Lost.