Narcissism in John Milton’s Paradise Lost Essay

794 Words 4 Pages
Narcissism in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

When Eve eats the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, her decision to tell Adam of her disobedience turns on two suppositions. If her transgression is kept secret from God, Eve's augmented knowledge might increase Adam's love for her, and perhaps cause her to be more equal or even superior to Adam. Even though Eve was created comparable to Adam as his helper, she refers to Adam as her "Author and Disposer." Furthermore, she says that while God is Adam's law, Adam is her law. Apparently, Eve chafes under this arrangement, as she wraps up her evaluation of not telling Adam of her sin with, "for inferior who is free?" However, her death is assured if God has seen her wrongdoing. In this
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When Raphael joins Adam for dinner, Eve serves them naked, affirming her place in God's hierarchy. However, Eve's nakedness arouses no libidinal desires in God's heavenly representative. Eve listens in on their conversation while Raphael relates how Satan and his rebellious angels were defeated, and how God and God's Son created the world. Eve leaves when Adam and Raphael discuss astronomy, her "reason" not suitable for this subject matter, and she only overhears Raphael's final warning about Satan. Information is power: Eve's status as Adam's "weaker" is clear.

During the conversation with Raphael, Adam relates his first experiences of passion with Eve, an emotion mixed with his love. While Raphael praises Adam's capacity to love, he disparages Adam's ability to control his passion. Adam should love, cherish, and honour Eve, but not subject himself to her. Moreover, Raphael stresses Adam's need to love God, and the potential conflict between his love for God and his love for Eve. To love God, is to obey God. For Adam, obeying God means never to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. While God leaves Adam free to will and in his own will free, his will though free is mutable. Under the influence of passion — sexual desire for Eve — Adam could choose to act in ways at variance with his free will and God's will. Sexual passion engenders pride, affecting Adam's obedience and love for
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