Paradise Lost is regarded as the pinnacle of epic poetry in the English language. John Milton seeks "to justify the ways of God to men" through the familiar Christian story of the fall of man and the angelic war over Heaven. The poem is imbued with Milton's profoundly individual view of man's place in the universe and his intellectual and spiritual quest for redemption in the face of despair.
The power of Paradise Lost has echoed through the centuries. Since its publication in 1667, it has provided inspiration for generations of writers, from the Romantic poets to Tolkien and, most recently, Philip Pullman in His Dark Materials trilogy. Countless readers have been illuminated by this remarkable work and its moving exploration of the dark side of the human soul.