[Milton-L] Adam's better half

Jason Kerr aelfric at gmail.com
Sat Aug 14 15:50:42 EDT 2010

The idea of a spouse or lover as one's "other half" goes back to Plato's
Symposium, in which one of the speakers (can't recall who at the moment)
proposes that people were initially created in three genders (male, female,
and hermaphroditic), but these people were too powerful, so the gods split
them in two--whence the idea of love as the quest for one's other half. Now,
as to when this other half became "better" (or "dearer," as Milton has it)
perhaps another list member will have more insight than I.

Jason A. Kerr

On Sat, Aug 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM, Jeremiah Douglas <jdcommonly at gmail.com>wrote:

> Milton's Adam says of Eve in P.L. 5:95 "Best image of myself and dearer
> half" -- so, when did all this "better half" stuff start?
> Jeremiah
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The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors,
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

           —Czeslaw Milosz, from "Ars Poetica?"
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