Paradise Lost, written by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674) is an epic poem about the biblical story of the “Fall of Man.”
That’s why so many of these Paradise Lost quotes have to do with God and Satan, and free will.
The first version was published in 1667 and consisted of ten books.
Milton filled the pages with over ten thousand lines of verse, and the book is considered to be his masterpiece.
In 1674, a second edition was published.
This time it had twelve books and some minor revisions.
It is believed that Milton started writing the poem in 1658.
He finished it around 1663 and by the time it was published he was almost 60.
Milton scholar John Leonard speculates that Milton actually began the sage when he was younger, but that he was interrupted by the English Civil War.
Interestingly, Milton had not planned to pen a biblical epic poem.
Leonard believes it was originally supposed to be about a character that resembled King Arthur.
However, Milton suffered several tragedies that might have had him thinking more about God and religion.
Keep reading through these Paradise Lost quotes to learn more about this famous English poet.
Don’t forget to also check out our collection of famous poems to inspire you when you feel like giving up
Paradise Lost quotes about Heaven and Hell
1. “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
2. “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
3. “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
4. “But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee Came not all hell broke loose?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
5. “Me miserable! Which way shall I fly? Infinite wrath and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell. And in the lowest deep a lower deep, still threat’ning to devour me, opens wide, to which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
6. “A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
7. “See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance; To waste and havoc yonder World.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
8. “Heaven’s last best gift, my ever new delight.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
9. “Farewell happy fields; Where joy forever dwells: Hail, horrors, hail.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost quotes about light and darkness
10. “I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night, taught by the heav’nly muse to venture down the dark descent, and up to reascend…” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
11. “What is dark within me, illumine.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
12. “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me, man? Did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
13. “This horror will grow mild, this darkness light.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
14. “And, when night darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
15. “What hath night to do with sleep?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
16. “O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams that bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
17. “I sung of chaos and eternal night, Taught by the heav’nly Muse to venture down the dark decent, and up to reascend…” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
18. “Confounded, though immortal. But his doom, reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought both of lost happiness and lasting pain torments him.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
19. “To perish, rather, swallowed up and lost in the wide womb of uncreated night devoid of sense and motion?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
20. “No light; but rather darkness visible served only to discover sights of woe.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost quotes about God and the devil
21. “Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
22. “Neither man nor angel can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible except to God alone.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
23. “Even the demons are encouraged when their chief is “not lost in loss itself.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
24. “So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair that ever since in love’s embraces met — Adam, the goodliest man of men since born his sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
25. “Pandemonium, the palace of Satan rises, suddenly built of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in council.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
26. “Immediate are the acts of God, more swift than time or motion.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
27. “His legions—Angel Forms, who lay entranced; Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
28. “Be strong, live happy and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command!” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
29. “Thou art my father, thou my author, thou my being gav’st me; whom should I obey but thee, whom follow?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Short Paradise Lost quotes loaded with the best advice
30. “Solitude sometimes is best society.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
31. “Awake, arise or be for ever fall’n.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
32. “Never can true reconcilement grow where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep…” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
33. “Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
34. “Our torments also may in length of time become our elements.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
35. “Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
36. “For Man to tell how human life began is hard; for who himself beginning knew?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
37. “Sometimes people close a door because they’re trying to figure out a way to get you to knock.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
38. “We live Law to ourselves. Our reason is our Law.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
39. “We know no time when we were not as now..” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
40. “To be weak is miserable, doing or suffering.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost quotes about free will, mankind, and life
41. “All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
42. “For so I created them free and free they must remain.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
43. “Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
44. “Freely we serve, because we freely love, as in our will. To love or not; in this we stand or fall.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
45. “Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
46. “Ah, why should all mankind, for one man’s fault, be condemned, if guiltless?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
47. “A grateful mind by owing owes not, but still pays, at once indebted and discharged; what burden then?” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
48. “I made him just and right, sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
49. “Firm they might have stood, yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
50. “What reinforcement we may gain from hope? If not, what resolution from despair.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
More Paradise Lost Quotes And Sayings
51. “And miserable it is to be to others cause of misery…” ― John Milton
52. “And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, consult how we may henceforth most offend.” ― John Milton
53. “To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.” ― John Milton
54. “Witness- Heaven, What love is sincere and reverence in my heart I bear thee.” ― John Milton
55. “But who can recall, or not undo? Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate” ― John Milton
56. “For solitude sometimes is the best society and short retirement urges sweet return.” ― John Milton
57. “With borrowed light her countenance triform Hence fills and empties to enlighten the earth, And in her pale dominion checks the night.” ― John Milton
58. “Of man’s first disobedience and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world and all our woe.” ― John Milton
59. “Till pride and worse ambition threw me down Warring in Heaven against Heaven’s matchless King:” ― John Milton
60. “To ask or search I blame thee not; for Heaven. Is as the Book of God before thee set.” ― John Milton
What did you learn from these Paradise Lost quotes?
Milton became blind in 1652 and wrote Paradise Lost entirely through dictation.
He had help from amanuenses, which is an old word a person employed to write or type what another dictates.
They might also copy what has been written by another, and sign documents for someone else, as long as they have the person’s permission.
This would be akin to a scribe or secretary.
He also had the help of some friends.
As if going blind, right before penning a 10,000-word epic poem is not challenging enough, Milton was also about to experience a deep personal loss.
In 1658, his second wife, Katherine Woodcock, died along with the couple’s infant daughter.
At other times during his quest to write the epic poem, he was very ill, often suffering from gout and depression.
One other interesting fact about the poem is that Milton used acrostics within the larger poem!
There are several entries that spell out things like “SATAN” and “FALL.”
What are your favorite Paradise Lost quotes and lines from the poem?
Let us know in the comment section below.
August 30, 2022 7:00 AM EST