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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost. Epic poem by John Milton (1667) concerning mankind's disobedience and consequent expulsion from Paradise through Satan's agency. Derived principally from the biblical account of the fall of man but illuminated by Milton's breadth of scholarship and shaped by his involvement in the Commonwealth cause, it has become the blind poet's best-known work through its panoramic vistas and mastery of language. Dryden's acknowledgement (‘that Poet has cutt us all out’) was later echoed by Hazlitt's commendation that its musicality was unsurpassed. The sequel Paradise Regained (1671) is concerned with Christ's temptation in the wilderness, his resistance atoning for Eve's frailty.

A. S. Hargreaves

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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost.
1. Opera in 2 acts by Penderecki to lib. by Christopher Fry adapted from Milton's poem (1658–64, pubd. 1667). Comp. 1976–8. Prod. Chicago, 1978, Stuttgart 1979.

2. Dramatic cantata by Christopher Steel, Op.34, for sop., ten., and bass soloists, ch., and orch. Comp. 1966. F. public p. Gloucester Fest. 1974.

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