[Milton-L] Abdiel (thought-sins)

Michael Gillum mgillum at unca.edu
Tue Jul 8 11:17:09 EDT 2008


Kim Maxwell:

1. How does God change the penalty? The penalty is death in the complex
sense described in DDC 1.12. In the day they ate the fruit, A&E suffered
death in the disordering of their natures, their subjection to mortality,
their alienation from God, etc.

2. Why would we suspect Adam erred in extending the prohibition to Eve? PL¹s
God directly forbids only Adam because that is the case in Genesis ‹ and
PL¹s Eve doesn¹t exist yet. However, readers can easily infer that the
prohibition did in fact apply to PL¹s Eve, since she displays symptoms of
death (in the extended sense) unmistakably and immediately upon eating the
fruit. I suppose Adam used his reason to discover that the prohibition
extended to all humans, as included in or  being ³of² Adam. But however he
came to the conclusion, it was correct.

3. Adam¹s first sentence at book 4.411 doesn¹t seem incoherent to me, just
Miltonic. It¹s important to notice that this is not the first time Adam has
told Eve of the prohibition (see 426-27). If it were the first time, he
would have expressed it more directly and emphatically. Since it¹s not the
first time, the speech should be understood as a rationale for obeying
rather than just a reminder of the rule. The rationale is gratitude. Eve¹s
response shows that she understands exactly that. Now, if I took Adam¹s
speech as the first announcement of the rule, I would be disturbed that
Eve¹s conclusion is ³just and right, owe praises and thanks² rather than
³obey, don¹t eat it.² In her temptation, Eve remembers that the fruit is
forbidden, but she forgets that it is just and right to obey.

Michael
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