Portrayal of Eve in John Milton's Paradise Lost Essay
1133 Words5 Pages
Milton's Portrayal of Eve in Paradise Lost
The seventeenth century poet, John Milton, takes the attitude common to the time period while portraying Eve in Paradise Lost. This epic, telling of Adam and Eve's fall from Paradise and the story of creation, constantly describes Eve as a weak individual, while Adam is often compared with God. The idea of women's inferiority has been fixed through time, making Milton's characterization of Eve not surprising, but rather expected and accepted. However, Milton shows a suggestion of women's inner strength while describing the control Eve has over Adam. Nevertheless, except for this instance, Eve is depicted as subordinate to Adam. This is evident through Adam and Raphael's treatment…show more content…
The remainder of her supposed downfalls lies in the mistaken ideas of Adam, Eve, and even the angel, Raphael. For at the time of creation and throughout most of history, one was considered weak while possessing those characteristics common to a woman: submissiveness, meekness, docility, etc. Therefore, Milton says, "though both not equal, as their sex not equal seemed; For contemplation he and valour formed, For softness she and sweet attractive grace" (IV 296). Her womanly attributes were determined by Milton to be inferior. In another instance, she is considered weak because she is too gullible. The serpent tricks her, and it is said, "his words, replete with guile, Into her heart too easy entrance won" (IX 733-4). Simply acting sweet and trusting, she is thought to be of a lower rank.
In addition, Eve does not even merit her won creation, having been formed from Adam. Raphael tells Adam, "joy thou In what He gives to thee, this Paradise And thy fair Eve" (VIII 171-2). Eve was regarded as merely a mate for Adam, not a person in her own rite. In their opinion, all her actions should be for the benefit of Adam. Milton says, "for nothing lovelier can be found In woman than to study household good, And good works in her husband to promote" (IX 232-4). Thus, Milton holds to the Puritan belief that a wife's duty is solely to serve her husband. And of course, Eve accepts this role,
Adam and Eve in Paradise lost Essay
608 Words3 Pages
Milton was looked on by many feminists, “of or relating to or advocating equal rights for women,”(comma before quotation mark) as rather chauvinistic in the way he portrayed Eve. In, (delete,) Paradise Lost, there are many examples of Eve being slighted (comma and substitute well with while) well Adam remains unscathed.
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When Eve first enters the world, (comma maybe) she awakes, “Under a shade on flow’rs…,” by a lake. In putting Eve under shade, (comma maybe) Milton shows that she is not one hundred percent in accordance with God. Eve wondered where and who she was and then she proceeded to look at her image in the water. (Revised sentence) “There I had fixt mine eyes till…show more content…
When Eve first comes in contact with Adam we see another example of her vainness. Eve sees Adam as, “…less fair, less winning soft, less amiably mild, than the watery image.” (period before quotation) Eve is made out to be prideful as she thinks Adam’s image is less then hers. Immediately after these thoughts go through her head, (, might be needed) she turns away from Adam in an act of repulse. When Adam first enters (or entered) into the world, (, might be needed) he is (much more superior than Eve, (Suggestion)) made to be a lot more superior then (*than) Eve.
Adam first enters (or entered) the world, “In balmy sweat, which his beams the sun soon dri’d…” In having him enter the world in sunlight shows how Milton is trying to display Adam’s closeness to God. Light is often associated with goodness, (, might be needed) well (while) dark is (a) representative of evil or hell. In Adams (or Adam’s) account of his creation, (, might be needed) the first thing he says he does is, “Straight toward Heav’n my wond’ring eyes I turn’d.” He was aware immediately of his maker and without hesitation looked up to the Heavens. After Adam had looked up to the heaven, (, might be needed) he fell to sleep where an, “inward apparition gently mov’d” him. Milton allows (or allowed) Adam to see God, (comma might be needed) which (Revised sentence: has not been introduced in Paradise Lost) to this