Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 214-219 - Summary

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      This is the most crucial moment in the conjugal life of Adam and Eve, the happiness and harmony of which Milton had depicted in Book IV. Now a disturbing note enters it, for Eve not only proposes that she wants to work away from Adam, but tells him that she has already chosen what work she is going to do. In fact, she almost lays down the work for Adam also.

      She suggests that they should divide the labor among themselves. Adam may choose the work which he likes or which seems to demand urgent attention e.g. winding the woodbine round the thicket or sliding the ivy so that it has a proper place and direction in which to climb. For herself, she has chosen to tend the roses and myrtle until noon. To Adam’s objection, she gives one reason after another. The fact is that Eve’s obedience has been affected and she has succumbed to the temptation of following her own will against that of her husband. Adam even tells her that she should try to discharge her duty towards her husband—that of implicit obedience (of which Eve herself had spoken in Book IV) rather than engaging in the foolish task of seeking temptation.

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