[Milton-L] RE: Eve and innocence

jsavoie at siue.edu jsavoie at siue.edu
Sat Nov 26 09:54:46 EST 2005


> Satan miscalculates his prey, and which "buttons" to push, in Eden: his
> unctuous flattery has little or no effect on her. It is only the promise of
> hierarchical elevation

Several posters have stated something similar to the above observation, but I
think it is far from proven.  Satan has a two-pronged attack to his seduction.
He appeals to her beauty/desire-to-be-admired and to her dissatisfaction in her
status.  The two appeals are united in their appeal to her vanity.  Go back to
her dream, and you will find them both.  You can say that it is the same Satan
whispering in her ear, only half-right in his strategy, but, more humanly, less
Satanically, the dream is usually taken as the expression of her own desires.
Satan appeals to Eve's senses of both beauty and intellect.  The latter might be
more compelling in the "feminist"-friendly university, or at least in the
classrooms, journals and discussion boards.  But the former is still an
important element, to Eve within Paradise Lost, and still in the bars, dorms,
hallways, instant messages, and other places where beauty and admiration still
drive one another to bold beautiful sometimes silly but often satisfying unions,
and not just students.  Milton was wise to give Satan both weapons.  Satan was
shrewd to use them.

John Savoie
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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