9. 1- 98:
The speaker opens the passage by claiming that he must now change the tone of the poem into a tragedy. He claims that the tragic nature of the distrust, disloyalty, and disobedience can be compared to the classical tales of Troy, Turnus and Lavinia, and Odysseus.
The speaker goes on to describe Satan returning to Eden, determined to destroy mankind regardless of punishment. He had been circling the Earth for seven days, returning at midnight through a secret entrance. Satan goes onto search the entirety of the globe for a creature which would be best suited for his plans; he decides that the serpent would be the best option because itís the most cunning animal. He decides to hide in the snake to avoid detection, reasoning that any cunning would not arouse suspicion since they share the same nature. [Late]
9. 99 -178:
Satan says that he prefers Earth to Heaven, and thinks it is a more suitable place for Gods than in Heaven. He likes Earth because it was created after Heaven, where it was built by recombining the ideas used to create Heaven and expanding on them to make something even better. Then he starts to become jealous of those who get to live on this planet, as he does not get to experience all the joys that they get to experience. He talks about all the places of refuge people on Earth have to choose from, where he announces that he himself cannot find refuge in any of these places. Likewise, he says that the more pleasures he comes across that the people get to experience and he can't, the more he feels hatred towards them. The people on Earth who he has this hatred for would probably specifically be Adam and Eve, as they are the ones God chose to be in charge of maintaining all these earthly pleasures. But after talking about the fact that there is no place on Earth that allows him to take refuge, he declares that he does not desire to live on Earth or in Heaven, or to become less miserable than he currently is. Rather, he wants to bring everyone else down to his same level of misery, as the act of doing so is the only activity available to him that puts him at ease and that he can get pleasure out of. He thinks about how rewarding it would be if it only takes him one day to destroy the earth that God took six whole days to create. Later on he thinks that this will be a great way to get even with God for creating humans slightly in order to make Satan regret not staying on the good side. He wants to turn the spoiled angels God created into more devilish creatures that could join him in Hell. He starts thinking about when he becomes a serpent, and about the unsettling mood he intends to produce in everyone as they will always have to have the sense that he is slithering around them behind every bush.
9. 179 - 204:
In this passage, the speaker describes how Satan stealthily searches for the serpent whom he finds sleeping peacefully "in Labyrinth of many a round self-roll'd" (9. 183). At this moment, the serpent is still innocent and sleeps "not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den" (9. 185) but curled peacefully in the grass. Satan then invades the creatures body and possesses it. This is similar to the eventual corruption of Adam and Eve as he has taken the serpent's innocence. I found the metaphor of the "Labyrinth" in comparison to the serpent's shape interesting here because of religious connections. While Daedalus' Labyrinth was meant to trap and confuse, middle age churches used the Labyrinth to symbolize a direct yet winding path to God and walking the Labyrinth was meant to be a spiritual journey that Satan obviously wants no part in. Satan does not disturb the serpent's sleep and is instead "waiting close th' approach of Morn" (9. 191). When morning arrives, the speaker describes the beauty of Eden and how all who breathed "from th' Earth's great Altar send up silent praise / to the Creator" (9. 195-6). Adam and Eve then awake and "join'd thir vocal Worship to the Choir" (9. 198). The two begin to converse about how they should carry out their work in the garden that day, considering how the garden requires far more work than two people can provide. They both remain oblivious to the events that will soon unfold.
9. 205 - 25:
In this passage, Eve makes a bid to Adam for the two of them to work separately, in order to get more done and be less distracted by one another’s presence. This, of course, is what allows Satan to begin his temptation and put into motion the events that will begin the fall, but it also notably Eve’s first bid for any sort of independence from her husband. Out of context, the question seems to make perfect sense: the garden is so fruitful that there is much to maintain, and so it would be more efficient for them to spread their efforts over a greater area.
In context, there is an element of foreboding and tension, as the reader is aware of what is to come, Satan already having come to the garden. As Hughes notes, there are a number of possible reasons for the passage to have been written this way; the most likely to my mind is that Milton is demonstrating the danger of Eve being out of sight and control of her husband — as has already been established, Adam is the purer and greater of the two, and so presumably, if Eve was under his eye, she would be far less likely to fall to Satan.
9. 226 - 69:
Adam is speaking in these lines and at first he reminds Eve that "Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd / labor, as to debar us when we need / Refreshment, whether food, or talk between" (9.235-237) so they do not have to split up the work in order to get it done. He also brings up the fact that God made them to be together, so he wouldn't give them so much work that they had to be separated in order to complete it. However, Adam does give his permission for Eve to be alone for some time if that's what she really wants, but reminds her he is uneasy because of the warning they received. His final claim is "The Wife, where danger or dishonor lurks / safest and seemliest by her Husband stays / who guards her, or with her the worst endures" (9. 267-269) I found it a bit strange that Eve wants to go off on her own all of a sudden, especially since as Adam says, they are not so busy that they do not have time to rest and because most of the time she seems enthusiastic about being around him. Of course, Adam forewarning the danger ahead kind of makes it seem like she does not concern herself for her own safety, even though they've been warned. Adam's comment about enduring the worst with her makes me think of foreshadowing to when he too eats the forbidden fruit.
9. 270 - 89:
In this passage Eve is responding to Adam and admits to eavesdropping on his talk with Raphael. She confronts Adam and says that he isn't scared of splitting up their work because he is scared of them being harmed; but instead is scared that Eve will be influenced by Satan and therefore drawn away from himself and God. Eve then tells Adam that he misjudged her character.
9. 291 - 317:
Adam is speaking in this section and he seems to be attempting to put Eve's mind at ease in dealing with the possible threat of Satan's corruption. Adam seems to believe that if there is to be an attack on them it would be on him, because to make him fall would be the biggest dishonor that he could inflict on God. Adam seems to believe that Eve is less of a target because she is weaker, though he says to her that she could resist, this could be just to make her feel better as we are all well aware that Eve is the one who is corrupted. Adam claims that together they are nigh invulnerable for "[Adam] from the influence of [Eve's] looks receive / Access in every Virtue, in thy sight / More wise, more watchful, stronger..." (309-311). Adam seems convinced that they must be targeted alone and that Eve is pure, existing only to inspire him to greater good deeds, much in the same way that medieval romances have men inspired by lovely damsels to commit great feats. This section would thus seem to be a critique of medieval literature and the ideals it espouses, thereby stating that men should not look to women for inspiration.
9. 318 - 41:
In lines 318-321 the speaker returns to assist in the transition from Adam’s speech to that of Eves’. The speaker informs us that Adam’s speech was full of care and matrimonial love, and that Eve is set to “reply with accent sweet renewd”. From lines 322-341 Eve will be the new speaker, and she begins her speech by asking the rhetorical question of how she and Adam can be happy if they must live “in fear of harm”? Her answer is that harm will not precede sin, and that Satan cannot dishonour them because in doing so Satan will only bring further dishonor unto himself. As such, Eve wonders why they should fear Satan if this is the case, as they may “double honour gaine” if they are able to resist Satan’s temptations. She asks yet another rhetorical question implying that “Faith, Love, [and] Virtue unassaid” are meaningless if they cannot be maintained without God there to continually guide Adam and herself. This question shares a great likeness to a line from Milton’s Areopagitica where Milton writes: “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister'd vertue, unexercis'd & unbreath'd, that never sallies out and sees her adversary”. That is to say that it is not hard to do something unless one faces some sort of adversity while attempting to do it. Therefore, it is not hard to believe or to have faith in god if your faith is never tested. Eve then finishes her speech by stating that they must not doubt the happy state that God has left them in, for if their happiness proves to be frail then “Eden were no Eden”.
9. 343 - 75:
Adam is speaking in this passage in reply to Eve. He tells her that "best are all things as the will / Of God ordain'd them, his creating hand / Nothing imperfet or deficient left" (9.343-345), which reiterates that humankind is God's greatest creation. Adam continues on to explain the defining feature of man: Free will. He tells Eve that "within himself / The danger lies, yet lies within his power" (9.348-349), with the danger being free will. Even though Adam explains that Reason is right, he concedes that Reason and Free Will don't always coincide, due to the nature of freedom. He warns that "Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd / She dictate false, and misinforme the Will / To do what God expresly hath forbid" (9.344-346). It is interesting that the warning Adam gives is gendered as feminine, as though being tricked by something "faire appeering" is something that only women (or rather, woman, at this point) could be susceptible to. He tells Eve that they should watch out for one another, as a means of protection against malicious beings (which they have been warned against in previously), saying "That I should / mind thee oft, and mind thou me. / Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve" (9.358-359). In spite of Adam's warnings, and belief that "Trial will come unsought" (l.366), he eventually gives in to Eve's desires to separate, saying "Go in thy native innocence, relie / On what thou hast of vertue, summon all, / For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine" (9.373-375). Adam clearly doesn't trust Eve fully, but allows her to venture off on her own, because to forbid her from doing so would inhibit her freedom. It's difficult to say whether she would have disobeyed God's orders had she stayed with Adam, but this is definitely a crucial turning point in her relationship with Adam.
In this section, Adam insinuates that harm can't be done by an outward, controlling force because of the ability to make decisions on one's own; however, there are two inherent flaws in this logic: Firstly, free will only determines one's own actions, not the actions of others which may affect them. Secondly, if it is accepted that no outward force can force action, God's supposed omnipotence is not all encompassing.
9. 378 - 84:
In this section, Eve is replying to Adam's concerns about staying obedient. I believe she is a little hurt at the fact that he would think she would not be able to handle the danger alone and tries to convince him that she will be fine. Adam wished for them to stay together so that they can support each other should the Evil face them, but Eve defends herself by stating that it is too shameful for the Evil to go for the weaker one since it isn't as influential as going for the stronger one, "A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek / So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse" (9.383-384). She believes that a proud Evil will not strike first at the weaker, but at the stronger because it will bring less shame. So Eve says that with Adam's permission, she will go forward with his concerns in mind, but she explains that he has nothing to worry about. She has the last word of the scene.
Interesting note: Eve even addresses herself as the "weaker," but she still believes she is strong enough to go alone and not be in any danger. Why? Is this Milton's way in showing how naÔve women are? Is he showing that they don't truly understand the situation (society's functions) and, even though they know they are at a disadvantage, they still think they could handle the truth? It's also important to note that while Eve admits she is the weaker one, she still takes the risk to go alone. This is a fault with her creation possibly, or maybe Milton is showing how he sees women of his time.
9. 385 - 472:
Here the speaker is describing events.
Eve leaves Adam to go about her work alone. As she wanders off, she is compared to Pomona, Roman goddess of orchards, fleeing from Vertumnus, god of seasons and change who tricked Pomona into marrying him. She is also compared to Ceres, goddess of agriculture. (9.385-95)
Concerned, Adam repeatedly entreats Eve to be back as soon as possible. She assures him sheíll return by noon, but he still seems troubled. (9.395-405)
Satan (possessing the serpent) silently follows Eve through the garden, plotting the destruction of all of humanity present and future through her corruption. (9.405-455)
As Satan watches Eve, he is captivated by her beauty and the splendour of her surroundings and is temporarily so moved that he has a brief moment of pure good once again. However, the rage in his heart boils up again and sets him back on his course. (9.455-472)
The comparison of Eve to these goddesses related to agriculture and organic growth are very interesting. The obvious tie is simply that Eve is ostensibly going to work the land (she is described to be using simple tools) and thus is carrying out the tasks which are the domain of those deities, but there is a greater level of complexity in the comparison to Pomona. Pomona was tricked into marrying Vertumnus when he disguised himself as an old woman to enter her garden, this directly mirrors Satanís disguising himself as an animal to enter Eden and corrupt Eve. Vertumnus is the god of change, and Satan is an enactor of change in this situation.
It is also interesting to note the emotional resonance of Satanís moment of goodness. We are left to wonder once again whether his nature is evil or if circumstance has molded him into something twisted. If the same mind that is Satan were born a human being, could he have been happy on Earth as he suggests?
9. 473 - 93:
This section is Satan's monologue. Satan is telling himself that he should not feel any goodness, love, or hope while watching Eve. Satan had a moment previously where he felt pleasure because of Eve, a feeling that would hinder him in his task to corrupt her. Satan tells himself that he came here because of the hatred he feels, he wishes to punish God and he cannot pass this chance up. Satan describes Eve as "Opportune to all attempts" (9.481) because she is seen, by Satan, as easily corruptible. Adam is described stronger, more intelligent, and essentially a better creation. Satan admits that Adam would be difficult to corrupt, but not impossible, so he chooses to go after Eve instead. Eve is again described as beautiful, fit for a God, and Eve has never been subjected to this level of hate hidden behind fake Love. Satan will use that hatred to ruin her. [Late]
9. 494 - 531:
The speaker is speaking, and telling of the meeting between Eve and Satan disguised as the serpent. Satan is described not as being slithering on the ground, but upright and being at eye-level with Eve. His eyes are described as "carbuncle" (l. 500), or a grey, reddish-brown colour; his neck a burnt gold; and his length as "redundant" (l. 503). Overall, he presents himself as a beautiful creature, one that appears trusting to Eve. Illyria, Hermione, Cadmus, Epidaurus, Ammonian Jove, Capitoline, Olympias, Scipio, and Rome are illusions [sic] [correction: allusions] to people, places, or stories that centre on a serpent's inherent beauty and ability to charm, situating Satan in amongst these stories. The speaker then describes how Satan first makes contact: instead of being abrupt and in Eve's face, he slides into her peripherals. This is then compared to how a ship sailing around a part of the Dover Coast that has high winds and waves. A sailor would turn their ship sideways to make it through without wrecking. The speaker then says that Satan begins making pretty little wreaths out of flowers with his tail to draw the attention of Eve, who ignores the sounds as she is used to animals rustling about as she does her work. Satan at this point comes right up before her, bowing down to lick the grass at her feet. His beauty is described again as Eve sees it for the first time, and, once he has her attention, begins to talk to her, his "fraudulent temptation" (l. 531) beginning.
9. 532 - 48:
These lines cover the beginning of Satan's attempt to tempt Eve with the forbidden fruit. He quite graciously complements her, focusing on her extreme beauty while telling her not to question why a snake is talking to her. He thinks that she should be worshipped as "a Goddess among Gods," (9.547) as opposed to just her current admirer, Adam.
9. 549 - 66:
In this section, Satan, as the serpent, finished speaking. His words amaze Eve. Eve questions how the serpent can speak in her language, even though he cannot speak a language of his own. She describes the act of the serpent speaking as a "miracle" (l.562). This makes me think that the miracle isn't a miracle for humans, but could be a miracle for Satan, a chance for him to thrive. Eve also says that the serpent deserves her attention for being so special and her never knowing it until now (l.566). This passage is the set up for Satan to persuade Eve to eat from the Tree.
9. 568 - 612:
Satan, in the form of the Serpent, replies to Eve's query in this section regarding how he gained the ability to speak the human language and why he has become so enamoured with her compared with the other animals. He begins by telling her that he would gladly answer any request or command that she has of him, and then begins narrating how he began as any other animal with all of their inherent limitations (compared to Man). Then one day he spotted the Tree of Knowledge off in the distance, huge and covered with different coloured fruits. He approached it to investigate, whereupon the "savory odor blown, / Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd [his] sense/ Than smell of sweetest Fennel" (579-81). He could not resist the temptation, and so began climbing the Tree to reach the high branches laden with fruit. Around the Tree "All other Beasts that saw, with like desire / Longing and envying stood, but could not reach" (592-3). He ate as much fruit from the tree as he could, and it wasn't long before he started noticing changes happening to him: he started acquiring reasoning ability, as well as speech. Upon gaining these abilities, he began contemplating all of the good and fair things in the world, and found that all of these things were united in the form of Eve, upon which time he decided to find and gaze upon her in "worship."
9. 613 - 24:
In these lines Eve is responding to Satan (disguised as a serpent), who has just told her that it was a fruit from the garden that has given him the power to speak and reason. Eve is amazed by the power of this fruit and asks where and how can this tree be found. She goes on to say that there are many trees in the garden unknown because of the sheer abundance of different trees. She further states that the vast amounts of various fruit give man the luxury of choice, leaving an abundance of fruit untouched by man. Eve states that these fruit will go untouched until the population broadens and is able to pick more of what grows.
In Eve’s use of the phrase “in such abundance lies our choice”(9. 620) she emphasizes the notion that Man does in fact have a choice in regards to which fruits they choose to eat. This seems to fit into the argument that suggests Man does have free will.
9. 626 - 30:
My short section is of the serpent describes the garden with imagery of flat land and a row of Myrtles to Eve. I looked up what myrtles were and they are defined as an "evergreen shrub that has glossy aromatic foliage and white flowers followed by purple-black oval berries" (google). The surpent sounds persuasive and tells Eve that "if thou accept / My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon" (8.629-30). The serpent is saying that if Eve accepts the invitation to go to the tree, that he will bring her there. [Late]
9. 631 - 46:
The speaker continues to relate how the Satanically possessed serpent leads Eve deeper into the garden toward "the Tree / Of prohibition" (9.644 - 45). A whimsical yet foreboding comparison constitutes the bulk of this passage; instead of the usual classical references, the poet inserts a delicious slice of European folklore to animate Satan's mischief acted out in the flexible reptile (9.631 - 633). The "joy [which] / Bright'ns his Crest" is ultimately false - akin to a "delusive Light" (9.639) commonly known as the will-oí-the-wisp. This mysterious phenomenon has transcended the ages; in medieval times it was called foolish fire [Lat. igneo fatuus] wheras today it finds expression through jack-o'-lanterns. The narrative given in this passage is that the effect of Satan on Eve is like a "wandering fire" (9.634) misleading the night traveler into perilous "Bogs and Mires" (9.641). It is somewhat surprising that the speaker attempts a naturalistic explanation for this occurrence (9.634), as if a talking snake could likewise be reasonably construed.
9. 647 - 54:
In these lines Eve is speaking to the serpent, she says that they have made an unnecessary trip to see this tree because even though this tree might be full of fruit it is not fruit that they can eat. God has commanded that it not be eaten and since she is his “Sole Daughter” (653) she must obey. I also found it interesting that she says “our Reason is our Law” (654) because her reason is coming from God, therefore their Law is whatever God tells them. Essentially, do they really have Reason? [Late]
9. 656 - 63:
In lines 556-563 [sic], Satan begins to speak to Eve about the forbidden tree. In the above lines, Eve has just told Satan that the tree of knowledge is forbidden to eat off of which Satan replies with this question, “has God then said that of the Fruit / Of all the Garden Trees ye shall not eat / Yet Lords declar’d of all in Earth or Air?” (9.556-558 [sic]). After Satan asks Eve the question, Eve begins to speak and once again explains to him that they may eat from any tree but the one forbidden tree. She then tells Satan that God told them, “Ye shall not eat / Thereof, not shall ye touch it, lest ye will die” (9.662-663).
9. 664 - 78:
In lines 664-78, the speaker is describing the serpents reaction to Eve's answer, and the serpents preparation in order to tempt her. Because the serpent is so eloquent and charismatic, the speaker likens the serpent to a great orator of old. The serpent's zeal and persuasiveness makes his upcoming speech to Eve harder to resist, as his words convince her to trust and believe him. This description of the serpent's power is a way to take some of the blame off of Eve for falling to temptation. It shows that the Serpent enticed Eve and fooled her into doing what he wanted, deflecting some of the responsibility for the fall from Eve.
9. 679 - 732:
9. 733 - 44:
Satan has just finished giving his final advertising pitch for the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil to Eve. The speaker tells us that his words “too easy entrance won” within her heart and mind (734). This phrase makes Eve’s acceptance of his pitch almost too good to be true. In an almost ironic paradox the “miracle” that Eve spoke of previously has been reciprocated but this time in favor of Satan (562). Eve’s solitude and lack of reason is a miracle for Satan in that he must only expend the bare minimum of energy to accomplish his intentions.
Meanwhile Eve’s gaze is fixed upon the forbidden fruit. The speaker doesn’t just say that the fruit looked good but he goes as far as to describe it as a fruit “which to behold / Might tempt alone” (736). This raises the question as to whether man’s fall was God’s intention despite Satan’s revenge? If the Fruit was so tantalizing that it tempted her to eat it even without persuasion is it not possible that the fortunate fall could have taken place without Satan? If this is the case we arrive back at the argument of who are the pawns in this chess game? If the Fruit by itself was enough to tempt Eve that means that Satan is just a pawn or even a catalyst in the chess game of God and Man.
Another important phrase begins in line 737 where it says that Eve thought Satan’s words were “impregn’d / With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth.” Once again the validity or rather stability of Eve’s reason is called into question. However, this phrase goes a step further even and suggests now only a clouding of mind but also of heart. Eve has not physically sinned yet but due to the fact that she has entertained the thought of sinning in her mind her heart has already begun to reap the consequences of the fall.
As if to lessen the burden of blame often dropped upon Eve the speaker notes that the hour is close to noon and “her eager appetite” could have also blurred her reason (740). The speaker is also careful to include that Eve does not just spontaneously act upon her inclinations. Instead she takes a pause and mulls over the whole situation in her head before making her life-changing decision.
9. 745 - 79:
The speaker in these lines is Eve as she is reflecting on the forbidden tree and the story that Satan (disguised a snake) has told her. It starts with her admiring the fruit and not knowing what to do. Having been told by God that the consequence of eating from this tree is death she is confused by the snake's contradictory statements. She is also confused because the snake seems to be positively affected by eating the fruit. He went from being a snake with no language to being able to speak the same language as man. It has been established in other books that death is a negative consequence and although Eve is still unaware of what death is, however, she seems to think perhaps it is not as bad as it was made out to be. While still being slightly cautious, she wonders if the fruit will affect her the same way it did the snake, because they are two very different things. This idea is seen in lines 9.764-768 where she considers the option that death is something purely intended for humans. Part of Eve's confusion about eating the fruit I would say comes from lines 9.748-750 where she notes that the snake praises God only after having eaten from the fruit off of the tree of Knowledge. The snake's praising God and acquired language skills do not make it appear that anything bad could possibly come from eating the tree's fruits. Some of the more important lines in this passage I think are lines 9. 758-762 because Eve here is thinking over what death could possibly be, as it has never been explained other than as a negative consequence of eating this tress fruit, while still being a very important aspect in the poem. At the end of this passage Eve decides to eat from the tree and reaches up to pick the fruit. She did this because from what she can tell, and what is presented in the book by the snake, is that good things will come and that death clearly cannot be the option if the snake is alive. Or at least death cannot be as bad as she once thought. I was a little confused with one part of this passage. On lines 756-757 is Eve saying that the unknown of the tree is what is known, and that the unknown is still what is unknown?
9. 780 - 94:
In this passage the speaker describes Eve as she falls for Satan's temptations and eats the forbidden fruit. Satan retreats back into the thicket as the Earth and Nature mourn now that all is lost. Eve fails to notice the serpent leaving since she is completely absorbed with eating the fruit. To her it is absolutely delicious and unique in its taste. However, while Eve greedily devours the fruit she fails to realize that she is eating death. After finishing, Eve feels lifted with joy, as if she had been drinking wine.
It's astonishing that Eve falls for temptation despite being warned by a powerful angel and the man she loves above all else. This passage (and the ones before), reveal a lack of integrity within Eve. The emphasis on the greed with which she devours the fruit portrays her as quite an unsympathetic character.
9. 795 - 833:
Eve talks about how wonderful the tree of knowledge is, and says that now that she has started eating its fruit, she has become so much more mature in terms of her knowledge. She also thanks Satan for encouraging her to eat from the tree, as if it weren't for him she would still be ignorant. As she thinks about how much better it is to have knowledge rather than ignorance, she calls God our "great forbidder," protected by all his angels, where she is obviously wondering why he would deprive people of knowledge. But then she wonders whether or not she will tell Adam about the tree. If she doesn't, then for once the two of them will be of equal intelligence. But then she wonders if she will die from having eaten the fruit, and dreads the thought of that meaning Adam will find another wife to replace her. Therefore, she decides that he should share the tree with her, where they can live or die together.
9. 834 - 55:
In this passage, the speaker describes how Eve turns away from the Tree of Knowledge before setting off to find Adam. Before departing, "first low Reverence [is] done" (8. 836) and Eve bows low to the Tree "as to the power / that dwelt within" (8. 835-6). The Tree's nectar is then defined as the "drink of Gods" (8. 838). The Tree appears to be godly in this sense and Eve treats it like a superior. This seems to exemplify Eve's disloyalty to and betrayal of God. Adam, on the other hand, is "waiting desirous for her return" (8. 839). Adam is still innocent here unlike Eve, and he has wove a garland for her. As Eve approaches, Adam feels as though something is wrong and goes out to meet her. Adam clearly adores Eve and this adoration will later be made clear in their dual sin. He then notices that Eve holds "a bough of fairest fruit" (8. 851) and looks to begin an apology.
9. 856 - 85:
9. 886 - 95:
In these lines, Eve tells Adam that she ate the fruit and has not suffered any consequences. He has been weaving a garland of flowers for her hair but drops them, as explained, "Astonished stood and blank while horror chill / ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd / from his slack hand the garland wreath'd for Eve / down dropp'd" (9. 890-893) He is unable to speak due to shock and horror. Focusing on the garland he was making for her in her absence, he seems to have only been thinking of her while she was gone. True, she has been thinking about him after she ate the fruit, but in a more jealous way than he is. I also want to draw attention to the fact that he drops a garland made of flowers, and his blood runs cold. I associated the flowers with spring and their carefree lives, and when the chill runs through him, it's almost signalling the cold turn both of them are taking. He remained in spring while he was oblivious to what she had done, but as soon as he finds out, there is a striking change.
9. 896 - 916:
This is the beginning of Adamís reaction to finding out that Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Adam speaks as if it was Eve's virginity that had been taken when he says "How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost, / Defac't, deflow'r'd" (900-901). Adam then acts very distraught and questions how all of this has happened to Eve and figures that Satan has seduced her incognito. Adam also shifts all of the blame of his fall onto Eve by telling her "And mee with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee / Certain my resolution is to die" (906-907), which is not very responsible of him or fair to Eve since it is entirely his choice to follow in her footsteps. Adam goes on to explain how he cannot live without Eve and even if God made another woman he would still never get over Eve. In my opinion for someone who is supposed to have a lot of wisdom, Adam has none. Instead of thinking logically about what it would mean for him to defy God he is blinded by love and is only considering the consequence of not being with Eve anymore.
9. 917 - 59:
Adam is speaking in this section, and he is dealing with Eve having partaken of the fruit of knowledge and him needing to know what to do about it. Adam has, by the start of this section, decided that he is going to follow her into death if he has to. Adam, having finished his internal monologue, talks to Eve about how he is feeling, Adam makes the assumption that God will not destroy them for their transgression. "Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, / Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy / Us his prime Creatures dignifi'd so high, Set over all his Works..." (938-941). Adam makes some assumptions as to how God rules the world, he is correct as they are not killed. This would seem to prove that God makes empty threats to keep people in line. There seems to be a desire to not let Satan win overall, despite his individual victories over the will of God. Adam concludes that he will stay with Eve no matter the punishment, as he says to Eve "Our State cannot be severed, we are one, / One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self." (958-959). Adam's fate is thus sealed with his decision to keep Eve as his wife despite her error.
9. 961 - 89:
In lines 960-989, Eve is speaking to Adam and is trying to tempt him into taking a bite from the forbidden fruit. She begins by flattering Adam, as she proclaims her love for him while also praising his perfection. Eve invites Adam to eat the fruit and to join her as “One Heart [and] one Soul”. She indicates that death shall separate them if he does not eat the fruit, and argues that if Adam really does love her than he will eat the fruit and thereby undergo the same fate. Given that Adam’s virtue still remains, Eve takes on a role similar to that of Satan. She is tempting Adam just as the wily serpent tempted her. Eve then lies to Adam saying:
Were it I thought Death menac't would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die
Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy Peace
Eve is saying to Adam that she would never do anything to gravely harm him or his peaceful state, which is false given that she is already aware of what the fruit will do to him should he bite into it. Eve then says to Adam that the fruit has opened her eyes to new hopes and joys, which is also a lie. She concludes her speech by imploring Adam to deliver his fear of death to the winds, and to eat the fruit despite the risks. Eve’s deceitfulness bares a grave similarity to that of Satan’s and further faults her for the fall of Eden.
9. 990 - 1016:
Lines 990-1016 are narrated by the speaker. These lines show Eve's joy in Adam's decision to eat from the Tree of Knowledge so that they suffer whatever fate may befall them together, the act of Adam eating the fruit, and the Earth's reaction to the deed. Firstly, it is described that Eve cries in joy and embraces Adam, "as of [his] choice to incur / Divine displeasure for her sake" (9.992-993). It is important to note the use of the word "choice," as it both reasserts the presence of free will, and places some measure of blame on Adam. The reader is then told that Eve gives Adam the fruit "With liberal hand" (l.997), showing that she is not reluctant to condemn her lover to an unknown fate. Another crucial passage from this section tells that Adam was "not deceiv'd, / But fondly overcome with Female charm" (9.998-999); unlike Eve, Adam has not been tempted by Satan. Since Eve in this moment plays the same role to Adam as Satan did to her, she takes on the role of evil temptress. Overcome by Eve's feminine wiles, Adam abandons all thought and reason, with the comparison made to drunkenness: "As with new Wine intoxicated both" (l.1008). Just as what happened when Eve ate the fruit, Adam's transgression leads to a physical reaction by the Earth: "Nature gave a second groan, / Sky low'r'd, and muttering Thunder, some sad drops / Wept at completing of the mortal Sin" (9.1001-1003). Nature is personified in these lines, and the presence of rain and thunder is explained as the Earth groaning and crying. This section ends with Adam and Eve staring lustfully at one another, with their "carnal desire inflaming" (l.1013).
9. 1017 - 33:
After eating the fruit, Adam stares into Eve's eyes with a passionate gaze and begins to speak. He states that she was right about the fruit and how amazing it is (in a nut shell). He cannot believe how they have wasted their time not enjoying the fruit and the "powers" it brings them, "so well this day thou hast purvey'd / Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd / From this delightful Fruit, nor known till now / True relish" (9.1021-1024). For the first time, Adam is experiencing true pleasure in both the fruit and in Eve. With the new "energy" (nudge nudge wink wink) from the fruit, Adam is ready for some play time with Eve. He explains that he has never felt this way towards Eve and her beauty before, not even when they first met or when they married each other. The section ends leading into the sinful sex scene of Paradise Lost.
Clearly, the fruit is an aphrodisiac. Adam is extremely turned on sexually towards Eve which seems to be more of a lust action rather than a love action. This is a huge concern since all sexual actions between a man and a woman (during this time) were meant to be an exchange of love (since sex after marriage) and not lust. Adam and Eve take these new feelings of excitement and arousal as positive rather than the beginning of their downfall. Adam is obviously not thinking with his brain during this section of the book and is thinking with his "other brain" and therefore his reasoning is gone. This is the root for many of the rules and laws of the society during this time period. Marriage was an arrangement generally for higher class families where the couple would unite money and power between the two. Should one of the two drift off and commit adultery or partake in lustful actions with another, they end up breaking the connection and bond between the families and thus both families suffer the consequences. This section is demonstrating that thinking without reasoning is not safe and that you should never listen to the arousal of lust (of woman). The fall of Adam starts with his choice of picking Eve over reason which gives women a bad wrap during this time. "Don't let women take control of your decisions because it'll be the end of you" and "Don't fall for sexual temptation because it only leads to troubles" seems to be the messages Milton is showing here.
9. 1034 - 66:
Here the speaker is describing events.
Adam and Eve have now partaken of the fruit of knowledge. Seeing Eve with lust for the first time, Adam leads her off and they have sinful sex under the trees (9.1034-1044).
As they sleep, the fruit does its work and changes them, given them the restless, nightmare-inhabited sleep modern humans live with. As they awaken, still weary, and look at each other through new eyes, it is clear that the innocence that was their entire state of being is gone (9.1045-1055).
Feeling shame at their nakedness for the first time, Adam and Eve are silent for a long while, perhaps in contemplation of what they now know they have lost (9.1056-1066).
This loss of innocence is compared to the biblical Samson's loss of his power to Delilah when she cut his hair. It is interesting to note the contrast between the sinful and guilty intercourse in this passage and the guiltless and innocent lovemaking Adam and Eve engaged in earlier in the poem. It is as if perspective changes the morality of the act.
9. 1067 - 1133:
1067-1098: Adam is speaking to Eve. Adam is telling Eve that because she listened to Satan that they now know Good and Evil, but they lost Goodness because of this knowledge. Adam refers to the fruit of knowledge as bad, which he should have known the entire time he existed because he was told by God, the moral authority on everything, not to eat it or bad things would happen. Adam and Eve have now lost their honor, which is obedience to God. Concupiscence (Lust) is seen in their faces so they cannot hide their new state from God or the Angels and Adam begins to fear his rapture, which is a selfish thought. Their new shame compels them to seek clothing to cover their private parts.
1099-1133: The speaker is now speaking. Adam and Eve go off into the woods and begin to search for materials to make clothing out of. A link to Indians is made multiple times which could be a way of describing their new savageness or their regression into another being. The new clothing used by Adam and Eve is both to hide their guilt and display it to God and the Angels. The speaker notes that they had a glorious nakedness that was now lost and Adam and Eve start to weep. They are flooded with more foreign emotions that only make them feel worse. Reason is no longer guiding them for other emotions, such as the "sensual appetite" (1129), control them. A now almost deformed Adam turns to speak to Eve.
9. 1134 - 42:
Adam is speaking to Eve and he states that if only she had listened to him this morning and done their work together, she would not have been tempted and they would not be where they are now. Adam says that now they are aware of their nakedness, unhappy, and miserable, and are no longer good. He then says let nobody in the future require proof like we did, as it is when people need this proof that they begin to fall. An issue I have with this passage and Adam's anger for Eve is that he ate the fruit as well, and was tempted only by his wife, of whom he was supposed to be master. Eve, at least, was tempted by Satan, who is far more powerful than either Adam or Eve, but Adam was tempted by merely "a woman", his "inferior." If Eve is at fault, Adam is just as at fault.
9. 1144 - 61:
In this passage, Eve replies to Adam, who has just blamed her fall from grace from her decision for them to work separately that morning. Eve argues that the serpent was so cunning and deceptive that even had it been Adam that he had targeted, he would have been successful in his temptation. She did not expect for an animal to harbour any ill will towards her, and therefore was not suspicious of its motive. It is interesting to note that the word “enmitie” is used in the Bible to describe the relationship between Adam and Eve after their fall, but in the poem, Eve uses it while talking about Satan and herself. Eve asks Adam, “Was I to have never parted from thy side?” (9.1153). She seems to think that if she had stayed permanently under Adam’s wing, she may as well have just remained as one of his ribs, and not been given life. Eve then turns the blame back onto Adam, asking why, as “the Head,” (9.1155) he did not put his foot down and forbid her from leaving. She goes on to once again answer her own question by arguing that they would not have fallen if not for his willingness to submit to Eve’s will.
9. 1163 - 89:
Adam ends book 9 by revealing the truths that he now sees about the world around him. He starts by setting Eve straight, saying that she is ungrateful to Adam for eating the fruit as well. He says that if he did not eat from the Tree of Knowledge he "might have liv'd and joy'd immortal bliss" (l.1166). Adam gives up the possibility of eternity and life itself to be with Eve (l.1167). He tells her that she was warned, told of the dangers that were lurking and waiting for them, and she didn't listen. Adam tries to switch the blame from him to Eve, saying that if Eve had only listened to Adam, she may not have eaten from the Tree.
Adam says that he had no control over what she chooses. He says that forcing someone who has free will is impossible (ll. 1173-4). This is a curious thought considering both Adam and Eve are to have free will; God would have no control on their decisions on eating from The Tree of Knowledge. So why would God create a rule that they could not eat from this specific tree, when he had no control all along?
It ends with Adam and Eve continuing to argue whose fault it is. Neither one is willing to blame themselves in any partial way. They are stubborn and unwilling to see what really happened. Adam and Eve seem abnormal because they are typically happy with each other and their lives.