**note* this paper sucks-I wrote it 1 hour before I had to hand it in.
Use w/ caution.In John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost , the issue of who is to blamefall of man is one that for the most part can be interpreted from areading of book IX. Based on the text, Eve played a larger role in theto eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Adam’smore passive in that he simply followed the wishes of Eve. Whensorted out later in the story, it becomes clear that Adam and Eve wereAfter an extended visit from the angel Raphael at which time heexplained in great detail to Adam the dangers of falling into temptationdisobeying God’s will, Adam is faced with a problem.
The problem is thatwants to split up for the day and Adam knows that this is a bad idea,particularly after the dream that she has described to him. They arguelength, but in the end Adam allows Eve to do as she wishes even thoughshe is making a very bad decision. Adam also knows that his ability tois inherently stronger than Eve’s, yet in his love for her is so strongconsents to her will.
This yielding is very similar to Eves yielding toserpents deception because Adam is aware of the probable outcome ofdecision. In his final plea for her to remain pious he says to Eve:O woman, best are all things as wellOf God ordained them; his creating handOf all he had created, much less man,Or aught that might his happy state secure,Secure with outward force. Within himselfThe danger lies, yet lies within his power;Against his will he can receive no harm.But God left free the will, for what obeysReason is free, and reason he made right,Lest by some by fair appearing good surprised,She dictate false and misinform the willNot then mistrust, but tender love, enjoinsThat I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,Since reason not impossibly may meetsome specious object by the foe suborned,Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned.Seek not Temptation, then which not to avoidWere better, and most likely if from meThou sever not: trial will come unsought.Wouldest thou approve thou constancy, approveFirst thy obedience, th’other who can know,Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?But if thou think trial unsought may findUs both securer than thus warned thou seemst,Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more.On what thou hast of virtue, summon all;For God towards thee hath done his part: do thine.(9,343-379)In this long speach Adam is pleading with Eve to see that is is aidea for her to venture out into the garden alone in the mist of suchdanger.
It is as though he is giving her a speach before he sends herbattle. Battle is precisely what she walks into, and Adam is clearlythis is going to happen. It is his decision to yield to Eve that makesmuch to blame for the fall as Eve is for trusting the serpent andAfter Eve has been corrupted she is faced with a decision of what to doabout Adam. She decides to convince him to eat the apple as well so thatwill share what ever punishment that they will have coming to them. Adamthat eating the apple is very wrong, but he does so anyway because hisEve is so strong will not let her suffer punishment alone.
This beingdecision, he eats the apple and thus disobeys the word of God andevery thing he has been telling Eve that they must believe in. After theis done, they fall into a terrible argument of who is to blame, but theis that the two of the are equally at fault for the fall of man, becausecould have prevented it if they had obeyed the will of God.Bibliography: