Paradise Lost
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4.07 / 5

"Paradise Lost" Summary

By Kate Brian

young adult | 935 pages | Published in 2003

Edited with an introduction and notes by John Leonard.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A group of teenagers at an elite boarding school navigate love, friendship, and dark secrets that threaten to unravel their paradise.

Table of Contents


"Paradise Lost" is an epic poem written by John Milton, first published in 1667. It is considered one of the greatest literary works in the English language and explores profound philosophical and theological themes. The poem tells the biblical story of the Fall of Man, focusing on the rebellion of Satan and the Garden of Eden.

Brief Synopsis

The plot of "Paradise Lost" revolves around the biblical story of the Fall of Man. The setting is divided between Heaven, Hell, and Earth. At the beginning of the poem, Satan, who has been cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God, decides to seek revenge. He journeys to Hell, where he gathers his fallen angel comrades and builds a palace called Pandemonium. Satan persuades them to continue their rebellion against God by corrupting God's newly created humans, Adam and Eve.

Meanwhile, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve live in blissful innocence and harmony. God has given them dominion over all creatures, except for the forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Satan overhears God warning Adam and Eve about the tree's forbidden fruit and decides to tempt them into disobedience. He disguises himself as a serpent and convinces Eve to eat the fruit, despite the warnings.

Eve shares the fruit with Adam, and as a result, they gain knowledge but also become aware of their own nakedness and sin. God discovers their disobedience and pronounces their punishment – expulsion from Eden and a life of hardship. However, God also reveals a promise of redemption through the coming of Jesus Christ.

Main Characters

SatanThe fallen angel who rebels against God and seeks revenge
GodThe almighty creator, depicted as all-powerful and just
AdamThe first man, created by God
EveThe first woman, created from Adam's rib
RaphaelAn archangel who warns Adam and Eve about Satan's plot
MichaelAn archangel who serves as God's messenger


1-4Satan and his comrades are cast out of Heaven and fall into Hell. Satan searches for a way to retaliate against God and decides to corrupt God's new creation, humans. He disguises himself as a cherub and tricks the angel Uriel to gain information about Earth. Satan prepares to journey to Earth.
5-8Satan arrives on Earth and disguises himself as a serpent. He observes Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, finding them perfect and happy. Satan overhears God's warning to Adam about the forbidden tree and sees an opportunity to tempt Eve. He enters the serpent and deceives Eve into eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
9-12Eve convinces Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and they both become aware of their sin and their nakedness. God discovers their disobedience and sends his angels to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The angels reveal that mankind will experience hardships but also have hope for redemption through the future coming of Jesus Christ.

Main Events

  • Satan's rebellion against God in Heaven
  • Satan's journey to Hell and the building of Pandemonium
  • Satan's plot to corrupt Adam and Eve
  • Satan's temptation of Eve and Adam's subsequent fall
  • God's punishment of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden
  • The promise of redemption through the future coming of Jesus Christ

Themes and Insights

  1. The Nature of Good and Evil: "Paradise Lost" explores the complex nature of good and evil. It raises questions about free will, temptation, and the consequences of disobedience. The characters' choices and actions reveal the moral and ethical dimensions of their existence.
  2. The Power of Knowledge: The poem examines the consequences of gaining knowledge. Adam and Eve's desire for knowledge leads to their downfall, but it also brings a form of enlightenment and self-awareness. It highlights the dangers of seeking knowledge without regard for its consequences.
  3. The Fallibility of Human Beings: "Paradise Lost" portrays the vulnerability and fallibility of human beings. Despite their perfect and harmonious existence in Eden, Adam and Eve succumb to temptation and make a grave mistake. This reflects the inherent imperfections and weaknesses of humanity.
  4. Sin and Redemption: The poem explores the concepts of sin and redemption. It depicts the fall of humanity through sinful actions but also offers a glimpse of hope through the promise of future redemption and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Reader's Takeaway

"Paradise Lost" is a profound exploration of human nature, morality, and the complexities of good and evil. It delves into the consequences of human choices and the power of knowledge. The poem prompts readers to reflect on the nature of sin, the pursuit of knowledge, and the potential for redemption.


"Paradise Lost" is a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate readers with its rich symbolism, powerful imagery, and thought-provoking themes. John Milton's epic poem presents a unique interpretation of the biblical story of the Fall of Man, exploring the depths of Satan's rebellion, the vulnerability of human beings, and the potential for redemption. It remains a seminal work of literature that invites readers to ponder profound philosophical and theological questions about good and evil, free will, and the nature of humanity.

Paradise Lost FAQ

  1. Who is the author of Paradise Lost?

    The author of Paradise Lost is John Milton, not Kate Brian.

  2. What is the genre of Paradise Lost?

    Paradise Lost is an epic poem, belonging to the genre of English literature.

  3. What is the main theme of Paradise Lost?

    The main theme of Paradise Lost revolves around the fall of man, temptation, and the battle between good and evil.

  4. Is Paradise Lost based on a religious story?

    Yes, Paradise Lost is based on the biblical story of the fall of man from the Garden of Eden.

  5. What is the significance of Paradise Lost in literature?

    Paradise Lost is considered one of the greatest literary works in the English language, known for its rich language, complex characters, and exploration of moral and theological themes.