Milton Paradise Lost Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1430 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Milton's Epic "Paradise Lost":

comparison of Adam and Eve's dreams

Eve derived from Adam's rib, and Eve's dream in "Paradise Lost" by Milton has substantially more fantastic images and heightened syntax than her helpmate Adam's dream later on, in Book 8. But although Adam calls Eve, after her Book 5 dream the "Best[95] after Eve relates her frightening dream to her Biblical companion, this reference ultimately stresses the contrast in Eve's dream between Milton's epic poem and the Biblical source of Genesis the poem derives from, in terms of the relationship of the two protagonists and of Milton's deterministic theological slant upon the tale. By calling Eve such an affectionate name, Adam clearly regards Eve not as a part of his rib and a smaller and lesser vessel, a weaker aspect of himself, but as a woman of beauty and a person to whom he owes devotion and moral affection, a person who is under the grip of a force not directly related to her status as a tempting woman. This title for Eve additionally highlights Milton's unique 'spin' upon the Biblical narrative, as does Eve's related anxiety about her dream.

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In her dream Eve is tempted by Satan to eat of a miraculous, tasty fruit. The fruit, Satan suggests, will give her knowledge. "Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods / www.dartmouth.eduThy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind, / but somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes www.dartmouth.eduAscend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see [80]/What life the Gods live there, and such live thou./So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,/Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part/Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell/So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought, [85]/Could not but taste." Ironically, the tempting language used to entice Eve seems less apt to attract the woman, rather the visions Satan presents (although Eve does not know this is Satan) echo his own frustrations with his stunted condition as serving in heaven, rather than ruling in hell.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Milton Paradise Lost Assignment

Adam expresses anxiety about the power and knowledge offered to Eve in this dream. He expresses fear as if Eve has been raped or penetrated, stressing that the dream could not have come from her mind, but must be derived from an outer force of evil afoot in their paradise. "Nor can I like uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;/Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none."[98] Adam's own later dream is equally supplanted in his brain, according to Adam, as he states, "When suddenly stood at my Head a www.dartmouth.edudream,

Whose inward apparition gently mov'd/Created pure."[294] He, too, is offered a royal vision: "One came, methought, of shape Divine," [295]and said, thy www.dartmouth.eduseat prepar'd./So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd, [300]" Adam is thus also offered a vision of rule, as is Eve, but his stance as the first human being is used as a rational to validate his prowess over all, rather than his physical god-like beauty, as Eve's beauty is used to validate herself as a potential goddess, in apostasy to the one true God.

Adam is greeted with a fair view of Paradise and beauty, as well as tempting fruit like Eve. Like Eve, the smells and sights of the dream stimulate his appetite. But unlike Eve, however, the first thing Adam sees when he wakes is "whereat I wak'd, and found/Before mine Eyes all real, as the dream." [310] Thus, the motifs of temptation, beauty, and rule are present in both dreams. The images of Adam's dreams are more concrete and realistic, and are validated in the reality of Paradise when he wakes. This may partly reflect the fact that Adam's dream comes later in the poem. As the poem is a narrative, the climax of the real temptation of man and woman is coming closer, and thus the dreams that prefigure this event in "Paradise Lost" become more realistic in nature. This distinction may also reflect the dual natures and consciousness of men and women. While Eve, the woman, dreams of lush goddesses and gods, and the exotic flora and fauna of fantasy, and wakes to see Adam, showing the unreality of her dream, Adam as a man merely dreams of a more heightened, lordly and lovely view of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Milton Paradise Lost" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Milton Paradise Lost.  (2004, November 17).  Retrieved October 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Milton Paradise Lost."  17 November 2004.  Web.  27 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Milton Paradise Lost."  November 17, 2004.  Accessed October 27, 2021.