Paradise Lost

Milton’s Eve as the Hallmark Wife College

John Milton conforms much to the popular misogyny of his time - the belief that women are inferior to men, and wives subservient to their husbands. However, his epic Paradise Lost explores the positive and important role women in that society could offer in marriage. He argues that the purpose of matrimony is not necessarily procreation, as was the norm in the 1600s, but instead to bring a man and a woman in completion. Eve's role in Paradise Lost is Milton's commentary on this very matter. She represents a typical woman and (with Adam) a typical union of Milton's time before the fall from grace, and what Milton theorized women could be after. Eve's wifely role is an important one, as husband and wife help one another to become better and more complete individuals. Ultimately, Eve is Milton's representation of a progression for women, at least in their role in marriage.

Any extensive study of history will bring forth the notion that women were, and in some cases still are, denied rights and basic freedoms. This concept becomes obvious when traditional marriage roles are examined. To elaborate, wives were predetermined to carry out two functions during matrimony: taking care of the family and procreation. Moreover the woman is...

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