An Argument for Eve's Innocence in Paradise Lost
In Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, God's only two commandments to his newest creations, the humans Adam and Eve, contradict each other. This is because God incorporates the contradictory notions of both faith and reason into the law by which he says Adam and Eve must abide. God first commands Adam to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge; this commandment is governed by a required faith on Adam's part in God's righteousness alone. Secondly, God (through implication) commands Adam to live according to his capacity to reason rationally. It is made clear to Adam that the first commandment, having to do with faith, is the primary commandment, since it is the only one God articulates. But, when Adam passes the information on to Eve, he does not make this distinction as clear. He also further convolutes the distinction with other things he says. Thus the order of importance of the two contradictory commandments is lost when told to Eve. Then, In book 9, Satan takes advantage of Eve's lack of information by presenting Eve with a situation wherein the conclusion that rational reasoning would produce is at odds with the conclusion that a blind trust in faith would produce. Eve cannot abide simultaneously by both of...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 771 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5187 literature essays, 1578 sample college application essays, 204 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in