We have all heard of Milton and appreciate his Paradise Lost but we don't hear so often about Milton's predecessors. Milton drew Paradise Lost from many literary figures before him (as the depiction of Satan's fall was a large subject to draw upon). One of Milton's inspirations was Joost van den Vondel, a master Dutch playwright of many classical and biblical themes, many of which Milton studied and used as he saw fit for his own works.
I've spoken to different people and read different authors who know about Vondel and his influence on Milton; the two had many similarities but many differences in their character and works. Different people had different conclusions. Some accused Milton of plagiarizing Vondel while other critics emphasized Milton's heavy debt to the playwright. Less contentious people claimed that Vondel's Lucifer outdoes Milton's Paradise Lost in depth and scope by giving more development to the other fallen angels.
I have read Paradise Lost, Lucifer, and Milton and Vondel: A Curiosity in Literature. What are your thoughts on the two genii? Do you think they are more alike or more different? Do you think Milton surpassed Vondel or the other way around? Etc.
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