Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 305-311 - Summary

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      These lines indicate Adam’s nobility of character as against the specious reasoning and self-willedness which seems to have entered Eve’s character. He assures Eve that she is entirely free from any blame or sin. He dissuades her not to separate herself from him, not because he doubts her firmness or virtue but because he wants to avoid the intended attempt of the enemy, ie. Satan. He tells her that he is simply preventing her from exposing herself alone to Satan’s temptation, which the enemy, however, powerful he may be, would not dare to attempt on them if both were together. Adam advises Eve not to underestimate the malice or cunningness of Satan. He reminds her that Satan was earlier able to seduce even the angels themselves. She must not therefore be overconfident of her own powers to resist Satan’s temptation and must not spurn external aid (his moral support) which he would be able to extend to her, if she stays with him.

      He agrees that he derives much of his strength from her virtues. In moments of trial, under the influence of her benign looks, he acquires every virtue and grows wiser, more watchful and strong, if need be even in physical strength. He assures her that the sense of dishonor in being overcome or snared in her presence would raise his vigor to the utmost. Adam means to argue that alone neither he nor Eve would be able to withstand the temptation of Satan.

      Therefore she should not insist on her ability to resist temptation and face the enemy on her own.

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