John Milton's Paradise Lost as Drama, Part 8: Eve's temptation continues.
John Milton, Paradise Lost as Drama, Part 6: Raphael continues his exposition to Adam and Eve.
John Milton's Paradise Lost as Drama, Section 5: Adam and Eve explore their situation, with Raphael's help.
John Milton's Paradise Lost as Drama, Section 4: A despairing Satan progresses towards Paradise despite the guardian angels and begins his assault on the innocence of Adam and Eve, but under the watchful eyes of God and his Son, who prepare counter moves.
John Milton's Paradise Lost as Drama: Part 2: This section covers the fallen angels' in Hell, as they debate about their future. Their arguments display a natural range in the psychological attitudes of victims after a disastrous failure: self-delusion, desire for revenge, anger, passivity, etc. The language is remarkably dramatic: apt, plausible and readily memorized despite the length of speeches. Because of the gender balance in the cast several of the devils are female, but this adds variety to the performance, and Milton did list several females among the fallen spirits.
This production of John Milton's Paradise Lost is entirely based on speeches taken from the epic, which Milton originally intended to take the form of a drama, as shown here. The episodes are no longer presented as flashbacks or prophecies, as usual in the epic form, but follow Shakespeare's mode of chronological sequencing. Thus Milton himself introduces his work first, and the causes of the revolt of Satan are presented next, and so on. The performances of Pradiose Lost at U. C. Berkeley in 1985 may have been the first live, fully theatrical staging of Milton's work before a public audience, recorded for educational use, as seen here. It was not a professional production but was developed in a Milton class taught by Hugh Richmond, who drafted the script, and it was directed by Paul Shepherd. The setting was the Maude Fife Room in Wheeler Hall, a hall designed in a Renaissance style as was often adapted for such performances in Milton's time (for example, for his masque Comus at Ludlow Castle). This performance text has been published by Peter Lang (1992) as John Milton's Drama of "Paradise Lost." This clip is the first of nine.