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Paradise Lost- Book 1 Discussion Questions

Here is a list of questions I need help answering based on John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (Book 1)


This is a link to the poem’s full text:



  1. Name 4 epic conventions





  1. Why do you think Milton chose to write Paradise Lost in the epic form? Why not a sonnet? Why not a simple narrative form? What does the epic genre do for the story as a whole?
  2. Do you see any similarities between Milton’s Satan and Shakespeare’s Macbeth? Which flaws might both share? What strengths might both share? (HINT: lines 36-70 are helpful)
  3. What type of leader is Satan? Find 1 quote to support your interpretation.
  4. Paraphrase the following quote: “The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” Do you agree with these comments?
  5. Note the most powerful description of Hell from Book 1.
  6. Is it preferable to live in a prison as a warden or to be a servant in a beautiful place for a demanding master? What is Satan’s opinion on that question? Find a quote to support your claim.
  7. Is God a tyrant? ‘an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution; a usurper of sovereignty; a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally.”




Last Updated on January 29, 2018

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