John Milton's Paradise Lost

Detail from book one, Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books. Case Y 185 .M657.
Detail from book one, Paradise Lost: A Poem in Twelve Books. Case Y 185 .M657.
Jeff Christian, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Jeff Christian, The Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Milton Seminar
Other Renaissance Programs
Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Staged Reading

Adapted by Regina M. Schwartz, Northwestern University. Performed by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Jeff Christian. Consulting Director: Chuck Smith of The Goodman Theatre.

As the primal story of western culture, the story of the Fall is known by everyone on a deep level, but in Milton’s vision that recognition is challenged as he elaborates the story of the first love, the first sex, the first quarrel, the first violence, and the first and deepest tragedy, the creation of death, in all of its horrendous forms.  He pits Adam and Eve, in a remarkable portrayal of human goodness, beauty, and sensuality, against the envious Satan, humanity’s most dangerous enemy. What motivates Satan? What causes humanity to err on the side of destruction? Why is a potentially perfect world being torn apart? These are among the timeless questions the play raises. And yet, for all its timelessness, what plot could be more topical right now: human responsibility for catastrophe, for exiling us from a vision of endless love to one of mutual destruction.

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