An Overview of Paradise Lost (1674 edition)

Paradise Lost consists of 12 chapters or “books.” If you aren’t inclined to read the entire work, consider using this overview to help you choose just a few sections to read.

Book I –  A summary of Satan’s rebellion and Man’s fall. The narrative begins with Satan and his followers already having been thrown out of heaven.

Book II – Satan’s plan for revenge against God: to attack His new creation, Man.

Book III – God’s plan to redeem His fallen creation by sending his Son.

Book IV – Satan enters Eden, sees Adam and Eve, and is chased away by God’s angels.

Book V – The angel Raphael comes down to warn Adam and Eve about the enemy and the dangers of temptations.

Book VI – The battle between the angels and demons, finally defeated by Christ, as told by Raphael.

Book VII – Raphael describes to Adam God’s creation of the world in six days.

Book VIII – Adam and Raphael talk about Adam’s relationship with God and with Eve.

Book IX – Satan enters the serpent and approaches Eve; she and Adam both eat the apple, then they blame each other.

Book X – God’s punishment of Adam, Eve and the serpent, and Satan himself to be judged and destroyed by his Son. The far-reaching effects of sin are described.

Book XI – Adam and Eve are shown visions of future history before leaving Paradise.

Book XII – God’s plan of redemption is described; Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden.

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