Title Page of the First Edition of Milton's "Paradise Lost"

Milton wrote his epic in English rather than Latin, using the basic metre of English drama, as Jonathan Bate notes: "Shakespeare was Milton's key precedent for the writing of Paradise Lost (1667) in blank verse rather than rhyme." The Guardian (London), 14 April, 2007. Milton later restructured his poem in twelve books, to conform to classical precedents for the epic form. However, much of this text is in direct speech from which a play script can readily be derived.

Please note that a two-hour play-script derived from the epic text of Paradise Lost is currently available: John Milton's Drama of 'Paradise Lost', ed. Hugh M. Richmond, New York: Peter Lang, 1992. This was the script used in performances of Paradise Lost at the UC Berkeley campus in April 1985. Clips from this production can be seen in the documentary "Milton by Himself" (Films for the Humanities, 1986) now available on DVD: the full two-hour performance is available in this site's video collection.

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