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Eve's Innocence In Paradise Lost Essay


God makes all things good. Therefore, God has good intentions as he makes the first humans, Adam and Eve. Now to blame one person for the fall of mankind does not seem right. It sounds irrational when someone takes a blame that he/she does not deserve. In John Miltons Paradise Lost, it seems as though Eve causes humankinds fall by eating from the tree of knowledge. However, a closer look at the text reveals that, in fact, Eve does not deserve the blame for falling into temptation. In John Miltons epic poem, Paradise Lost, Eve remains innocent and should not take the blame for mankinds fall.

For instance, in Paradise Lost, Eve should not receive blame for the fall of mankind because God does not create her with advanced intellectual capabilities. God decides to give Eve this fatal flaw, so the responsibility cannot fall directly on her. When she wakes up in the garden, she wanders around with unexperienced thought (IV.456-457). This lack of intelligence given to her by God becomes the reason that she falls into temptation. Also, as the couple relaxes in the garden, God sends Raphael to explain to them about Satans evil plan. God orders Raphael to, as friend with friend, converse with Adam (V.229-230). God gives specific instructions to speak with solely Adam, as Eves name does not get mentioned. This proves that God did not make Eve with an extravagance of learning ability, and He knows it. Despite her lack of knowledge, Eve does have some beneficial qualities. God blesses her with outstanding beauty and charm. However, as the epic poem goes on, we learn how beauty is excelled by manly grace and wisdom (IV.490-491). God blesses Adam with substantial amounts of wisdom compared to Eve. So she, unlike Adam, does not have a well developed brain capable of resisting the temptation of Satan. Eve does not get her own personal preference on what attributes to have, that decision belongs to God. Therefore, Eve should not take the blame for the fall of mankind, since God creates her with unintelligence.

Furthermore, in John Miltons epic poem, Eve cannot take the responsibility for mankinds fall because Adam often times leaves her alone and forces her to make decisions on her own. Adam knows that Eves lack of brainpower makes her vulnerable and mistake prone. Eve cannot receive blame for humankinds fall if she requires, but does not always get, somebody to watch over her. As Raphael approaches the garden, Adam tells her to go with speed, and what thy stores contain bring forth (V.313-315). He disregards her inability to make rational decisions by herself and proceeds to allow her wander off. However, Eve does return and observes the ongoing conversation between Raphael and Adam. After a few boring minutes, she decides to go forth among her fruits and flowers (VIII.44). Although this time she leaves under her own free will, Adam should have used his intelligence and told her to stay with them. When Eve gets left alone, she can easily become fooled or deceived by an outsider. Adam should always keep an eye on her just in case she faces a difficult decision that seems beyond her comprehension. In addition to letting her leave, Adam also encourages her to leave at times. He believes that they should split up when they need refreshment, whether food, or [] food of the mind (IX.236-238). He knows that Eve cannot make rational decisions by herself, yet he promotes that they spend time away from each other. Eve should not take responsibility of mankinds fall since Adam knows all along that he cannot rely on her to make good decisions when alone, but he continues to allow her to spend time by herself.

Lastly, Eve should not receive blame for the fall of humankind because Adam fails to tell her the whole truth. As Eve wakes up for the first time in the garden, she [wonders] where and what [she] is (IV.451-452). Often times, Adam believes that Eves mind does not have the capacity to fully understand what he has to say. Therefore, he tries to give his explanation in a way that she would easily understand, and in the process he leaves out critical information. Also, when Raphael visits them, Eve does not get to hear Raphael talk about Satans plan. Adam tells her sternly to go find an abundance [] fit to honour and receive our heavenly stranger (V.315-316). Instead of allowing her to contribute to the discussion, Adam sends her off to get food. Thus, she does not hear the intentions of Satan which makes her unaware of what to look out for. Also, as Raphael begins explaining about the heavens, Adam allows Eve to just leave without gaining any further knowledge. Eve gets up and [visits] how [her flowers] [prosper], bud and bloom (VIII.45). However, Adam does stay longer and listens to Rafael, but he fails to alert Eve of the information that she misses. This disallows Eve from getting a full understanding of the conflict that will eventually occur. Eve proves innocent because Adam does not tell her what she needs to know in order to resist Satans temptation.

In John Miltons Paradise Lost, Eve should not receive the blame for mankinds fall. Firstly, God made her; therefore He chooses to give her less than average intellect.

Other than God, Adam also plays a part in supporting Eves innocence. He chooses to leave Eve alone even though he knows that she cannot make logical decisions by herself. In addition, Adam omits critical information about Satan when he relays the message to Eve. The responsibility of humankinds fall does not belong to Eve, since she did not receive proper information and since her brain lacks depth. One person cannot take the blame for the fall of an entire race.

Works Cited

Milton, John. Paradise Lost. New York: Mentor Books, 1981.

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