[Milton-L] A & E & Satan

Carol Barton, Ph.D., CPCM cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Mon Apr 7 14:27:28 EDT 2014

Jim, you have to include Eve in that, too (but in Book 9 rather than 10). Severally and jointly, they go through many of the same rationalizations/ specious arguments that the devils do--but the difference is that rather than resolving "evil, be thou our good," they reason their way out of their own sophistry and untenable arguments together. I think it's useful to compare the strategies advanced by the Infernal Council in Book 2 and Satan's "but say I could repent" soliloquy in Book 4 with what Eve says immediately after eating the Fruit, and what they say to one another after Adam has joined her in her disobedience. They sound very much like Belial, Moloch, and Satan himself--and are in very much the same moral state (hearts hardened against salvation) but for the devils, the needle sticks, and the record keeps skipping into eternity.

(Some of you won't "get" that metaphor. I just mean that the argument never progresses beyond "let's hide"--"let's lay low"--"it's God's fault
--and so on.)

Best to all,

Carol Barton

From: James Rovira 
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2014 2:13 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] A & E & Satan

I'd agree, Richard, but look at where Adam is already going with it:

This Woman whom thou mad'st to be my help,
And gav'st me as thy perfet gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill, [ 140 ]
And what she did, whatever in it self,
Her doing seem'd to justifie the deed;
Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.

He's blaming Eve for being so sweet and innocent and God for giving her to him, not to mention the rather nasty argument at the end of Book 9. I think the differences are a matter of time and degree.  

Jim R

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