Download e-book for kindle: A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

By C. S. Lewis

ISBN-10: 0195003454

ISBN-13: 9780195003451

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"An crucial paintings in figuring out either the literary process of C.S. Lewis and the theological assumptions of Paradise misplaced. unprecedented in its conciseness."--I.S. Maclean, James Madison University

"Still the main lucid, precious, enjoyable creation to Milton's poem someone has contrived to put in writing. conventional literary feedback at its best."--Lance E. Wilcox, Elmhurst College

About the author
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) used to be an Irish writer and student of combined Irish, English, and Welsh ancestry. Lewis is understood for his paintings on medieval literature, Christian apologetics and fiction, particularly the children sequence entitled The Chronicles of Narnia and his technology fiction house Trilogy.

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A Preface to Paradise misplaced presents an interpretation of Milton's goal in writing the epic.

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Sample text

In the foregoing account of Primary Epic the reader may have noticed that no mention is made of one characteristic which later critics have sometimes thought essential. Nothing has been said about greatness of subject. No doubt, the epics we have been considering do not deal with comic or idyllic matters ; but what of the epic theme as later ages have con­ ceived it-the large national or cosmic subject of super­ personal interest ? In my opinion the great subject ('the life of Arthur, or Jerusalem's fall') was not a mark of primary epic.

So are sad task Yet argument (IX, 1 3) and Since first this subject (1x, 25). These expressions do not represent real connexions of thought, any more than the prolonged syllables in Handel represent real pronunciation. It must also be noticed that while Milton's Latin con­ structions in one way tighten up our language, in another way they make it more fluid. A fixed order of words is the price­ an all but ruinous price-which English pays for being un­ inflected. The Miltonic constructions enable the poet to depart, in some degree, from this fixed order and thus to drop the ideas into his sentence in any order he chooses.

Aeneas himself is mistaken for a ghost in the next book. In a sense he is a ghost of Troy until he becomes the father of Rome. All through the poem we are turning that corner. It is this which gives the reader of the Aeneid the sense of having lived through so much. No man who has once read it with full perception remains an adolescent. This theme of the great transition is, of course, closely con­ nected with the Virgilian sense ofVocation. Nothing separates him so sharply from Homer, and that, sometimes, in places where they are superficially most alike.

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A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis


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