[Milton-L] Struggling with a paper

Hugh Wilson hwilson at together.net
Sat Feb 5 14:59:35 EST 2005

The issue of whether or not Milton portrays
Eve as really intrinsically more frail than Adam
is an open question.  Some scholars, like John
Ulreich, have credibly argued that Eve is heroic.
In some significant respects, she seems morally
superior to Adam.

When Milton was three, in Salve Deus Rex
Judaeorum [1611], Emilia Lanier had already
argued that Adam was more culpable
for the fall than Eve.

Hugh Wilson
hwilson at together.net
(518) 562-8027

P.S.  Also, as an aside, insofar as
"misogyny" means the hate of women,
Paul isn't "misogynist" at all.  The word
is devalued by being over-used.  Jason
in Euripides' Medea is expresses genuine
misogynist sentiments when he wishes
that women never existed, and that men
could produce children some other way.

Garden variety sexism or unconscious
prejudice isn't misogyny anymore than
the garden varieties of unconscious racism
are tantamount to membership in the
Aryan Nation.

Given the questions about Paul's authorship
of the most controversial epistles, and the
is debate about what they really meant, it
seems that we should be more circumspect.

At 06:35 PM 2/3/2005, you wrote:
>I think to answer your questions you'd have to ask either God or the Devil 
>directly.  The best I can do is point to a textual tradition that Milton 
>may have been following.  Undoubtedly neither God nor Satan are nearly as 
>misogynist as Paul.
>BlevinsJake at aol.com wrote:
>>Paul of course wrote from the perspective that Satan's deception of Even 
>>already occurred, so yes it was woman who was deceived. The question, I 
>>guess, would be did it have to be that way? PL depicts an Adam who, I 
>>believe, could have been swayed--albeit, as I said before, perhaps by a 
>>different mode of attack. The very fact that Adam is not "tricked" by Eve 
>>but falls with full knowledge, so to speak, makes it difficult for me to 
>>imagine that he couldn't have been tricked into doing the same thing. 
>>You're right that an important aspect becomes why did Satan choose to go 
>>after Eve first--it could just be Milton's following the "historical" 
>>account of the story or the general idea that woman is somehow a lesser 
>>version of man, or Satan was privy to Eve's attitudes toward herself at 
>>the pool. Regardless, none of that necessitates the idea that Eve was 
>>without a doubt more vulnerable to the attack--only that Eve was indeed 
>>vulnerable. Remember, Satan HOPES to find Eve alone, but isn't he 
>>prepared to tempt the both of them if need be?
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