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The Clockwork Of Men Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

John Milton's theodicy in Paradise Lost is an attempt to justify the ways of God to men. Many ask how God could let someone as innocent as a child die in a horrible way. How could a God that is all loving and all powerful let something like that happen? He answers this using the fall of Mankind as the trigger point. Cordelia Zukerman and Thomas H. Luxon, "The dominance of these themes comes from the fact that Milton is writing about the first humans on earth, humans who have no history and no way of knowing the world except through God's inspiration." (Zukerman, Luxon). He explains by utilizing three parts as his structure: Before humans, during Eden and after the Fall. Thus the explanation ...view middle of the document...

The scene changes to Eden, where Adam and Eve are working in the Garden of Eden. Both of the humans are innocent and naked, as they are not aware that nakedness should cause shame. They are working when Satan first comes upon them in Paradise. He envy's them so, that he hesitates, thinking of the life he once lived. Milton quotes him as saying, "....but I in none of these/ Find place or refuge; and the more I see/ Pleasures about me, so much more I feel/ Torment within me..." (Milton, book nine, page 199, lines 118-121). Satan then carries on because he believes that he has Hell attached to him, so he must do evil now. Satan is able to weave his way into Eve's dreams and eventually speak to her alone. Eve is tempted by Satan and eats from the tree of knowledge, effectively dooming the human race. But as Stella P. Revard says, "...critics have argued that the cause of Eve's fall, and thus the responsibility for it, lies with the husband who sanctioned her exposure, not with the circumstances of that exposure." (Revard). She runs off to get Adam to eat and once he does, they run off together in a sexual manner. They have sealed the fate of their descendents.
Awakening after they had eaten the fruit, Adam and Eve realize what a mistake they have committed. Milton describes the scene as, "Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams/ Encumber'd, now had left them, up they rose/ As from unrest." (Milton, book nine, page 223, lines 1050-1052). God knows immediately what they have done and sends his son to meet them. Adam and Eve hide their nakedness and, when asked why, they explain all that has happened. Adam is a kind of hero when he chose to join Eve, as Anne Ferry says, “For in the very act of choosing Eve he is destined to lose her, because they and we will be doomed to mortality; and Adam knows this.” (Ferry). So when Jesus passes judgment on them, he is ready. His punishment on them both is sentencing Eve and all women to bear children in...

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