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Eve’s Apology Essay

1032 words - 4 pages

Is this an apology or blame? In the beginning, God tells Adam not to eat the forbidden fruit. Adam disobeys God by doing so, but most people put the blame on Eve. In the poem, “Eve’s Apology,” Eve expresses her feelings toward the entire situation and shows how she is not to blame. She blames Adam for the pain we endure today. Eve eats from the forbidden tree out of curiosity. She wants to share it with Adam, so he can feel like she feels. Eve gives the fruit to Adam out of love, but she does not force him to eat it. Adam has control of his mind, so he disobeys God on his own. “Do not the thing that goes against thy heart” (Lanyer 424). Aemilia Lanyer, the author of the poem, “Eve’s Apology,” lived in the mid 1500’s and 1600’s. Living in this time period, had much influence on her writing. She published her landmark book, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, the same year that the King James Bible and three of Shakespeare’s plays were published (Wilhelm 424). Lanyer brings out the life of this poem with the poetic devices, irony, and unusual language.
To begin, the poem, “Eve’s Apology,” uses many different poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, rhyme scheme, and simile. The author uses a great number of alliteration, which is the repetition of constant sounds generally at the beginnings of words. Alliteration can be seen in the words “what” and “weakness” in line 3. Some more examples of alliteration throughout the poem are “subtle serpent’s” (23), “he had him” (24), and “with words which” (30). Assonance, the repetition of the same or similar vowel sounds in stressed syllables that end with different consonant sounds, is another poetic device that the author uses greatly. Some examples of assonance are found in lines 10 “ The ‘perfectest’ man that ‘ever’ breathed on ‘earth’ and 29 “He ‘never’ sought ‘her’ weakness to reprove.” Other examples of assonance is “before poor” (8), “Eve either” (8), “with which did” (30), yet knowledge” (31). This poem also has a rhyme scheme, which is the pattern of rhyme between lines of a poem or song. This poem’s rhyme scheme for stanza 1 is ABABABCC, stanza 2 is DCDCDCEE, stanza 3 is FGFGFGHH, and stanza 4 is IJIJIJKK.
This poem also has much irony. The title itself shows irony. The title of the poem is “Eve’s Apology,” but throughout the entire poem Layner blames Adam for his mishap. In the first stanza, she begins the poem with an image of women being equal with men and at times even better. She continues this theme into the next stanzas using the fall of Adam and Eve to defend women. She uses an old belief; men are stronger and superior to women. Therefore, if women are weak, she argues the fact that man is more at fault for the fall of humankind because it should have been expected for Eve, a woman, to give in to the power of temptation. Adam receiving the fruit is not excusable because he is supposedly stronger than Eve and should have...

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