This section of Milton’s epic poem concerns the devil's temptation of Christ in the wilderness. It's a substantial subject; nonetheless, the work is often seen by critics as a coda to Milton's masterwork, Paradise Lost. Anton Lesser, a longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, takes us inside Milton's seventeenth-century blank verse with remarkable clarity and emotion. Lesser's voice is completely at one with Milton's subject matter, meter, and language. After three centuries, this work is much more accessible than one might think.
In Paradise Regained, Satan again is on the prowl, having successfully tempted Adam and Eve, and forced their departure from the Garden of Eden. Here he sets out to tempt again, this time Jesus himself, as he comes to the end of his 40 days in the desert. The magisterial poetry of Milton enriches the encounter and, while not matching the greatness achieved in Paradise Lost, provides drama and depth.
©2005 Naxos Audiobooks
If you liked John Milton's Paradise Lost, you will love his sequel, Paradise Regained, just as much. In the original, Milton reveals what happened behind the scenes with Satan and his cohorts to undermine God's plan for mankind in the garden of Eden. He continues the pattern in this sequel, expanding the account of Satan's three temptations of Jesus, recorded in brief form in the Gospels, to a full-blown treatment, along with background details of Satan's scheming with his demonic forces. Milton's profound theological insights and masterful literary skills, combined with Anton Lesser's wonderful narration, make this production terrific in every way. Highly recommended.
Author, reader, listener... interested in Great Books of the Western World, historical fiction, Victorian poetry, and some fiction.
I was skeptical that Milton could continue in the same quality, and the beginning was slow. He continues to develop the character of Satan, as in PL, but the Son of God triumphs decisively with authority, piety, and clarity.
I was surprised that the "undoing" or reversal of PL was not the resurrection. But PR makes so much sense. It speaks directly to Romans 5, where Paul writes "For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." (verse 19)
I also appreciated how, like Dante, Milton puts the classical Greeks in the discourse. Satan brings a perspective and Christ brings another. Milton obviously has huge respect for the ancient Greeks. I think he shows their place in Book IV.
Anton Lesser did a great job with the narration. He is a great reader and his intensity suited the text. He is now one of my favorites.
Milton is brilliant. I recommend PR to lovers of Milton, Dante, and all English poetry and prose.
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