[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost the greatest work?

Tony Demarest tonydemarest at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 15 15:48:46 EDT 2009

The older I get (and that is old), the more I love Lear- I understand his decisions, his denial of love, his redemption into despair- it is part of the older human condition- mostly, I love the play's truth, and living in today's world, who can deny the reality of the deep tragedy of life portrayed. And I love Paradise Lost for the verbal, sonic, rhetorical, and thematic pyrotechnics Milton provides. Why would, or should I ever have to choose (like Lear) which I love best? The question is, for me, not only meaningless, but absurd- sort of like asking which work is more existential- L'etranger or Huis Clos? Have we not all loved different people? Do we not know life is unpredictable- and that is why we cling to it so fiercely?Like Borges, I think the greatest work of literature has yet to be born- and frankly am glad I will be, like his last Saxon, 6' under.
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