[Milton-L] Paradise Lost

Felicia Weston-davies felicia.weston-davies at greyfriars.oxford.ac.uk
Sun Nov 27 17:13:55 EST 2005

I was wondering whether anyone has any thoughts on ll. 7801-1 in Book VIII of
Paradise Lost: 
'So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat'
To mix tenses at such a key point I think may be deliberate- however the
notes in my copy suggest that 'eat' may be a Middle English ref. to 'et'. I
would like to propose that it is instead a purposeful mixing of tenses, 
suggestive of the fact that the moment at which she first eats will
reverberate throughout time, affecting all mankind. 
Any comments/views would be gratefully received.

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