A Staged Reading
As the primal story of western culture, the story of the Fall is known by everyone on a deep level, but in Milton’s vision that recognition is challenged as he elaborates the story of the first love, the first sex, the first quarrel, the first violence, and the first and deepest tragedy, the creation of death, in all of its horrendous forms. He pits Adam and Eve, in a remarkable portrayal of human goodness, beauty, and sensuality, against the envious Satan, humanity’s most dangerous enemy. What motivates Satan? What causes humanity to err on the side of destruction? Why is a potentially perfect world being torn apart? These are among the timeless questions the play raises. And yet, for all its timelessness, what plot could be more topical right now: human responsibility for catastrophe, for exiling us from a vision of endless love to one of mutual destruction.
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