Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 323-331 - Summary

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      Eve appears quite headstrong in her discussion with Adam, who she
unquestionably accepted as her head in Book IV. Adam’s noble appeal that she should prefer her virtue to be tried in the loving presence of her husband rather than alone is completely lost on Eve. On the other hand, she questions and criticizes God, Himself. Eve maintains that if their condition is to dwell in the narrow sphere to which they must be confined because of their constant fear of Satan, then their life in Paradise cannot be said to be happy. Whether Satan is cunning or violent, it is clear that they have not been blessed with the qualities and strength which are necessary to defend themselves against Satan’s wiles singly, whenever they come across him. Eve means to say that if they are unable to defend themselves singly against him, they will live in constant fear of harm from him and hence can never be happy.

      Eve also feels that harm cannot occur before sin. She means that Satan cannot harm them so long as they are virtuous. Their enemy will of course make attempts to tempt them holding their virtue and sincerity in low esteem but then he will have to face disgrace himself without bringing any dishonor to them. But Eve forgets that Satan’s plan is to put them first on the path of sin. Her arguments simply show her over-confidence in her own powers.

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