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Paradaise Lost By John Milton Essay

943 words - 4 pages

Eve in the Garden of Eden

The most important characters in the epic poem, “Paradise Lost”, are Satan and Eve. These two characters are most responsible for the development and progression of events within the poem. Satan is the main figure throughout the vast majority of the plot. “Paradise Lost” follows Satan’s ultimately successful attempt to destroy God’s perfect creation, humanity, by forcing Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. In creating humanity, God set expectations and put in place boundaries for Adam and Eve, yet they were not particularly restrictive.
Adam and Eve had free reign within the boundaries of the Garden, and free will to make their own decisions, though ...view middle of the document...

Satan postulates, “...both/Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed” (4.295-96). This is the point of view of only one character, but Satan’s opinion reflects the view that Eve was created inferior. Adam was the image and glory of God, Eve the glory of a man. While Eve may have been created inferior, she is well developed within the poem. When Eve is created, her first action is to follow a stream and “...to look into the clear/Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky” (4.458-59). This action has been interpreted as vanity, but it is perhaps more of an innocent action. It is not unreasonable to assume that looking at a reflection of yourself for the first time would be captivating. Eve had no way of knowing that the figure was herself so it is less of a vain action.
Many of the differences between Adam and Eve can be seen in their respective creation stories. Adam wakes up “in balmy sweat” that beams of sunshine soon dried (8.255). Immediately he looks up at heaven, and “by instinctive motion” (8.259) stood up and studied the surrounding environment. Adam is graced with instinct. By contrast, Eve wakes up “under a shade of flowers” (4.451) and looks to heaven in a pool of water. Adam was created with more knowledge than was Eve. For example, Adam names each of the animals that is brought forth instinctively. Another major difference is that a “divine shape” appears to Adam, but not to Eve. The image that Eve sees is her own, and while Adam hears the voice of God, it is not clear whose voice Eve hears. Eve deduces from experience while it seems Adam was given information when created.
Eve is weak to flattery, leading to her downfall. Satan plays upon...

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