[Milton-L] death in Eden.

James Rovira jrovira at drew.edu
Sun Nov 21 22:53:22 EST 2004

Just to add to Carol's post.

I think the relevant passage in Paradise Lost is in book II, lines 
746ff.  Line 755/6 describes Sin springing forth from Satan's head. 
Satan saw his own reflection in Sin and desired her.  His intercourse 
with her led to the conception of Death (line 785-6).  Death then 
repeatedly rapes Sin (his own mother) who on an hourly basis is raped 
and gives birth to little monsters.

The Biblical source for these relationships is James 1:15

"...after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it 
is full-grown, gives birth to death" (NIV).

Since Satan sinned before Eve did, and since sin leads to death, both 
Sin and Death had to pre-exist Eve.

Probably a good thing to distinguish between human mortality and the 
principle of death here.

The passage in James is especially pertinent, as it defends God against 
the accusation of providing temptation to sin (1:13).  We are the source 
of our own temptation, sin, and death, not God.


Dr. Carol Barton wrote:

> Okay, Peter, I will take the bait.
> Eve is the "daughter" (both idea and derivative) of Adam and the mother of
> death, as surely as Sin is the daughter (both idea and derivative) of Satan,
> and the mother of Death. Sin's sexual intercourse with Satan produces Death;
> Eve's verbal intercourse with the Serpent produces mortality. Et in arcadia
> ego notwithstanding, Death and mortality properly exist outside of Eden
> (which is the reason that Adam and Eve are banished). Eve eating the malus
> tastes mortality; Satan eating the malus tastes eternal damnation, the death
> of the soul.
> Death (the character) is the idea of a mind that has conceived of Sin. (A
> sinless mind is not subject to damnation.)
> Complicated lot, aren't we?
> Best (and Happy Thanksgiving) to all, celebrants or not,
> Carol Barton

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