[Milton-L] Eve's curls (reply to William Moeck)

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Sun Sep 6 16:23:27 EDT 2009


That's a rather Humpty-Dumpty quibble, don't you think, Prof. Skulsky? 
First you redefine the term being used, then castigate the users for 
employing it.

I don't think any of us were using "temptation" synonymously with 
"trial" in the Scholastic context.

Yes: a temptation is almost always a trial, a test of one's mettle, 
will-power, or conviction--just as a piece of chocolate cake is both a 
"temptation" to a chocolate-starved dieter, and a "test" or his or her 
ability to maintain the resolution not to have any.

Eve does not seek to be seduced, intellectually or in any other form. 
She seeks to be proven worthy, without understanding (or foreknowing) 
the nature of the test, and does not anticipate the Devil's 
appropriation of the form of one of the "not yet nocent" creatures 
over whom she has been given dominion, and whom she has already 
encountered in the Garden. (She's expecting a creature worthy of the 
reports she's heard of him--not a glittering reptile--and not an 
Adversary who will unchivalrously attack the weaker opponent first--as 
I too have "argued elsewhere.") She makes a succession of faulty 
assumptions after this one in the "trial" scene--and by means of them, 
seduces herself. I don't think she was anticipating that form of 
"temptation" either--which is probably one of Milton's primary points. 
We cannot gird ourselves against any and all forms of temptation/trial 
trusting in our own abilities to withstand it; we need to rely on the 
Father, and on his power to steer us safely past them.

Best to all,

Carol Barton 




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