1 May 2015
Eve’s Evolutionary Sacrifices The premeditated purpose and path for women and how Eve decisively but somewhat unknowingly reroutes that path clings to the epic poetic culture. Though Eve’s rash decisions in Paradise Lost paint her as the sole proprietor of sin’s birth, those same rash decisions make her the woman’s hero, therefore, creating the hero that the Old English epics typically behold. This lengthy narrative of the story of Adam and Eve, concerning Eve’s own vanity and thirst for independence gives you insight on one of the most important cultural stories. Thus the same vanity that created sin is the catalyst for this epic Paradise Lost, where those actions transparently become a heroic and courageous deed drastically shifting a culture. As well as Adam and Eve’s bond with nature, Raphael’s gendered analysis of nature and heavenly bodies assist the establishment of the inferior rank of women in Paradise Lost. In Book V, Raphael debates the ladder of human faculties with Adam, describing that the bottom divisions, “those of the senses,” encourage the undiluted faculty of rationality. “Raphael introduces the earthly elements with the gender neutral article, the, or the gender neutral pronoun, it; however, when referring to the moon and sun, he uses the gendered pronouns he or his and she or her, respectively. Given that the hierarchy of elements and the hierarchy of human faculties are analogous, the gendering of the lower ethereal element as feminine and the higher element as masculine implies that the lower human faculties belong to Eve while the higher ones belong to Adam” (Trotter). Here it is established that women are simply squires, but it is important to note that Eve is not present at the time to absorb this information. Eve’s absence from this informative conversation proves to be not in the favor of Adam and God’s will.
The desire for a more diverse role signifies the eventual action Eve takes to prove her uncertain self-righteousness. Milton provides insight on this ineluctable decision, and marks the spur of Eve’s curiosity and gradual thirst to explore outside of the role an agenda she has been assigned since her creation. Her reflected image, the first recognition of the self, is presented to the reader as an action filled with “vain desire” (Milton, 1674, 4:466) thus introducing the narrative pattern with what sparked Eve’s curiosity. Jonathan “Leviathan” Whitfield further states “She is relegated to a role of inferiority in the male hierarchy, and this is the point from which she perceives herself and the world, a perception that began with her taking notice of her physical appearance (Milton, 1674, 4:461), a perception of herself that concentrates on her features and later recognizes the limits of her inner dimensions, her intellect” (58-59). This analysis is accurate because Eve’s role of inferiority is quite simple compared to that of Adam’s, but that left room for curiosity, and curiosity thus lead to her thirst for independence and a higher meaning. The author provides an example of the inevitable repercussions Adam and Eve may face, if they disobey God’s plan and intendance for them. The war in Heaven provides a clear cut prevision of how disobeying God’s will leads to person’s becoming blind to “the truth.” Satan and the rebel angels feel permitted by deciding not to yield, however their rebellion against God in fact leaves them powerless. Satan and his followers never see how useless their revolt is. They made various strides at deceiving God and also came the continued failure to go along with it, but their continued hope of victory demonstrates the dismaying effect that their pride influenced.
Eve sleeps and dreams by which was created by Satan whispering in her ear as she rests providing foreshadowing of her eventual temptation and ruin. The event that began this tragic path is when Eve convinces Adam that it would be fine for her to venture off alone despite God’s