Paradise Lost Epic poem in blank verse, one of the late works by Milton, John, originally issued in 10 books in 1667 and, with Books 7 and 10 each split into two parts, published in 12 books in the second edition of 1674.
Considered by many scholars to be one of the greatest poems of the English language, Paradise Lost tells the biblical story of the fall from grace of Adam and Eve (and, by extension, all humanity) in language that is a supreme achievement of rhythm and sound.
The main characters in the poem are God, Lucifer (Satan), Adam, and Eve. Much has been written about Milton's powerful and sympathetic characterization of Satan. The Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley saw Satan as the real hero of the poem and applauded his rebellion against the tyranny of Heaven.
Many other works of art have been inspired by Paradise Lost, notably Joseph Haydn's oratorio "The Creation" (1798) and John Keats's long poem "Endymion." Milton wrote a companion piece, Paradise Regained, in 1671, which dramatizes the temptation of Christ.