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Eve As A Character In Paradise Lost

1209 words - 5 pages

From the creation of mankind, women have always been second to man. We were born of a man and therefor are subject to him. This has been the thought for centuries and even today, women are still looked even slightly down upon. This is because of Eve’s first sin in the Garden. That one sin plagued all women for the rest of eternity. It only took one second, one bite, and one mistake for the fate of all women from then on out to be sealed. John Milton’s Paradise Lost is based on the creation story of the Bible and this one sin recounted in the Bible is precisely the reason for the way Milton sometimes portrays Eve in the poem. Although Milton’s Eve is known to be subservient and secondary to ...view middle of the document...

Eve could not directly speak to God as Adam could because “He for God only, she for God in him” (Milton 4.299) Eve did not wake up knowing the same things Adam knew, and this shows that she was submissive to Adam and could only know the things God told him by Adam telling her everything. “This tale informs Eve of an ontological debt she has unwittingly incurred to the generous lender of her "Substantial Life"-not that she might exist to, for, and from herself but rather that he might "have thee by my side / ... an individual [inseparable] solace dear."”(Froula 328). Because she was created from Adam, Eve felt as though she owed her life to him and hoped he would have her.
Eve is not always portrayed in a bad light in Paradise Lost. She is described saying, “And in her looks, which from that time infused sweetness into my heart, unfelt before…The spirit of love and amorous delight” (Milton 8.774-777). This is Adam’s reaction when he first laid eyes on Eve and had encountered just how beautiful she was. He instantly fell in love with her and they were married. She is called “our credulous mother” and described by Satan saying “Her heavenly form angelic, but more soft and feminine.” (Milton 9.644 & 457-458). A lot of the good things that are said about Eve are in reference to her beauty, her looks and the fact that she is a woman. The only thing that she has that Adam doesn’t have as much of is beauty but her comes back to bite her.
Eve is not only just a pretty face, but can be quite intelligent. When Adam and Raphael are chatting about the creation of the universe in the beginning of book eight, she leaves, not because she cannot understand what they’re talking about, but because she would rather hear Adam tell it to her later. She’s just as intelligent and skillful as Adam when it comes to those sorts of things, she just would rather him give her little kisses during the story. “Yet went she not, as not with such discourse delighted, or not capable her ear of what was high: such pleasure she reserved, Adam relating, she sole auditress; Her husband the relater she preferred before the angel, and of him to ask Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute With conjugal caresses: from his lip” (Milton 8.48-56) When Eve...

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