Adam & Eve Lost in Paradise

782 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 4 Pages
Paradise Lost by John Milton: Discuss the relationship between Adam and Eve, as portrayed in Book 9 of Paradise Lost. How does Milton’s portrayal compare to or differ from how Adam and Eve are typically portrayed, described, or understood?

Thoughts of Eve conjure images of a meek woman who is submissive and created to serve her husband. Adam is thought of as a strong, beautiful man created in the likeness of God. He is the ruler of land and sea and leader of all mankind. Their relationship is thought of as idyllic and unified, even throughout and after their fall. However, Milton casts a different light on their relationship and personal traits in Book 9 of Paradise Lost.
Adam’s submissive helpmate becomes an independent, contrary,
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Therefore, his love for her leads him to eat the fruit because if she is to die then he chooses to die with her because as he says in line 959 “to lose thee were to lose myself” (2111).
Now that they both have sinned, the relationship becomes one of contention, contrary to the traditional image. Sexually it is lustful and depraved lacking the love and intimacy they once shared. Adam is no longer mild towards Eve, but accusatory and blaming even speaking harshly too her which is opposite of how he treated her before the apple. She in turn retaliates against him and tries to blame him for not being stronger. She even accuses of him of not being able to withstand the temptation if it had been him. Sadly, what becomes of their relationship is a blame game that is “fruitless” and controlled by pride with neither taking responsibility for their actions (2116).
In the end of this book, Milton inserts an interesting point about the male/female relationship that easily could be overlooked. He switches from Adam making a point about Eve, to generalizing all women of which Eve is the representative. Adam talks of Eve’s confidence and perfection and how much he admired her, but realizes that is where he went wrong calling it his “crime” (2116). Then he makes the shift towards women, which is craftily done by Milton, almost like a forewarning to men to beware of the power of women in the following:
Thus it shall befall
Him who to