45 Paradise Lost Quotes From John Milton's Epic Poem

Joan Agie
Dec 12, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Mar 24, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Writer writing on a notebook

'Paradise Lost' is an epic poem written by John Milton in the seventeenth century.

The poem is written in blank verse. In the first edition of 'Paradise Lost', only ten books were published, however, in the second edition, it was divided into twelve parts.

The poem starts with Satan as a fallen angel who has been banished by God from heaven to hell. In the later half of the poem, Satan, turning himself into a snake, tempts Adam and Eve to have the forbidden fruit of knowledge, making them commit the unforgivable sin against God.

William Blake was deeply inspired by Milton's work and has made several illustrations based on the poem.

If you like what you read, then check out John Milton quotes and Dante's 'Inferno' quotes as well!

Quotes From 'Paradise Lost'

Here's a list of important quotes from the epic poem.

1. "Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world, and all our woe."

- Narrator, Book I, the first line of the poem.

2. Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss"

-Narrator, Book IV.

3. "Whose fault? Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me All he could have; I made him just and right; Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall."

-God, Book III.

4. "Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:

They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,

Through Eden took their solitary way."

-Narrator, Book XII.

5. "I alone seemed in thy world erroneous to dissent from all: my sect thou seest, now learn too late how few sometimes may know, when thousands err."

-Abdiel, Book VI.

6. "Man disobeying, Disloyal breaks his fealty, and sins Against the high supremacy of heaven, Affecting Godhead, and so losing all,.."

-God, Book III.

7. "..transgress, and slight that sole command, so easily obeyed amid the choice of all tastes else to please their appetite."

-Narrator, Book VII.

8. "The law of God exact he shall fulfill Both by obedience and by love, though love Alone fulfil the law: thy punishment He shall endure by coming in the flesh To a reproachful life and cursed death,.."

-Michael, Book XII.

9. "Our state cannot be sever'd, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself."

-Adam, Book IX.

10. "Pleas'd it return'd as soon; with answering looks Of sympathy and love: there I had fixt Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire."

-Eve, Book IV.

John Milton 'Paradise Lost' Quotes

Quill pen and ink well

Some famous quotes from the poem are listed below.

11. "Be it so, for I submit: his doom is fair, That dust I am, and shall to dust return."

-Adam, Book X.

12. "I form'd them free, and free they must remain, Till they entrall themselves.."

-Narrator, Book III.

13. "I may assert eternal providence,

And justify the ways of God to men."

-Narrator, Book I.

14. "In sin for ever lost from life; this act Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms."

-Michael, Book XII.

15. "[L]et this him know, Lest willfully transgressing he pretend Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd."

-God, Book V.

16. "The mind is its own place, and in it self

Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n."

-Narrator, Book I.

17. "..to thy husband's will thine shall submit, he over thee shall rule."

-The Son, Book X.

18. "Freely we serve,

Because we freely love, as in our will

To love or not; in this we stand or fall."

-Raphael, Book V.

19. "God is thy law, thou mine; to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise."

-Eve, Book IV.

20. "Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint, And knew not eating death."

-Narrator, Book IX.

Satan Quotes 'Paradise Lost'

The iconic Satan quotes from 'Paradise Lost' will send chills down your spine. Many consider the quote "Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n." from Satan as the most famous quote of the poem. Read the list below for some more.

21. "All is not lost; the unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield; (And what is else not to be overcome?)"

-Satan, Book I.

22. "To visit oft this new creation round; Unspeakable desire to see, and know All these his wondrous works, but chiefly man, His chief delight and favour;.."

-Satan, Book IX.

23. "How dearly I abide that boast so vain Under what torments I inwardly groan, While they adore me on the throne of hell."

-Satan, Book IV.

24. "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."

-Satan, Book IV.

25. "Seized us, though undismayed: long is the way

And hard, that out of hell leads up to light;

Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire."

-Satan, Book II.

26. "Our labour must be to pervert that end,

And out of good still to find means of evil…"

-Satan, Book I.

27. "To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:

Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n."

-Satan, Book I.

28. "Who overcomes

By force, hath overcome but half his foe."

-Satan, Book I.

29. "Thus was the applause they meant

Turn'd to exploding hiss.."

-Satan, Book X.

30. "Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue

Sometimes in highth began, as no delay

Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right."

-Satan, Book IX.

31. "Thus these two

Imparadis't in one anothers arms

The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill

Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,"

-Satan, Book IV.

Important 'Paradise Lost' Quotes

A few noteworthy quotes from the poem hand-picked for you.

32. "How shall I behold the face Henceforth of God or angel, erst with joy And rapture so oft beheld?"

-Adam, Book IX.

33. "Me miserable! which way shall I fly

Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?

Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;"

-Satan, Book IV.

34. "For never can true reconcilement grow, Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep;"

-Narrator, Book IV.

35. "Giving to death, and dying to redeem, So dearly to redeem what hellish hate So easily destroy'd, and still destroys."

-God, Book III.

36. "..free, and to none accountable, preferring hard liberty before the easy yoke of servile pomp."

-Mammon, Book II.

37. "For solitude sometimes is best society,

And short retirement urges sweet return. "

-Narrator, Book IX.

38. "Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt The virtue of that fruit, in thee first prov'd: But say, where grows the tree, and from hence how far?"

-Eve, Book IX.

39. "And now Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way Not far off heaven, in the precincts of light, Directly towards the new created world."

-God, Book III.

40. "Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay

To mould me man? Did I solicit thee

From darkness to promote me?"

-Adam, Book X.

41. "Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;

This horror will grow mild, this darkness light:⁠220

Besides what hope the never ending flight..."

-Narrator, Book II.

42. "...you have seen one world begin and end and man as from a second stock proceed."

-Michael, Book XII.

43. "I also must change Their nature, and revoke the high decree Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd Their freedom; they themselves ordain'd their fall."

-God, Book III.

44. "In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the fiend pass'd through,.."

-Narrator, Book X.

45. "To Adam what shall come in future days, As I shall thee enlighten; intermix My covenant in the woman's seed renew'd;"

-God, Book XI.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Paradise Lost' quotes by John Milton then why not take a look at Gilgamesh quotes and quotes from 'Beowulf'.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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