Paradise Lost

Humanistically Flawed: Eve's Torment 12th Grade

Humans have instincts. However, some are often suppressed and viewed by society as immoral and unnatural because not all of them have pure intentions. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Milton retells the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from Eden, exploring the minds of each. As a result of her struggle between having a strong desire for wisdom, her vanity, and wanting to obey, Eve experiences inner torment that portrays her as a flawed and, most importantly, human character, which Milton uses to comment on human vulnerability and the sometimes irresistible and great temptation of sin.

Though she is forbidden, Eve pines for knowledge, claiming that “...wisdom, which alone is truly fair” (4.491) in comparison to “How beauty is excelled by manly grace” (4.490). She immediately inflates the magnitude and greatness of wisdom by arguing that its appeal and importance can not be rivaled, even with that of Adam’s appearance. Her open comments about the wisdom she is forbidden to obtain through the Tree of Knowledge illustrate this uncertainty that plagues Eve’s mind about whether or not she should act on her instinctual longing to obtain something she can not have. especially because she has been told. Her rationalization of her...

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