Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 386-396 - Summary

Also Read


      Milton describes Eve as departs from Adam to work separately, as she had insisted. This is practically the last moment when we meet the unfallen Eve. Adam looks longingly at her as she recedes into the distance and Milton evokes several classical comparisons to depict Eve’s personality, gait etc. As usual in Paradise Lost these epic similes do not have a merely decorative or illustrative function but enrich and enlarge the significance of the context.

      Eve looked like wood-nymph as she walked. A nymph in the train of Delia - or, rather like Delia (Diana) herself so called because her birthplace was Delos. Eve in fact excelled Diana in her gait as well as her majestic deportment. But unlike Diana she was armed not with bows and arrows but with garden tools fashioned by their own rude art unacquainted with the use of fire, or which the angels had brought them. Thus, adorned with agricultural implements only she bore the closest resemblance to Pales or Pomona. In Roman mythology Pales is a rustic spirit represented as female by Virgil and others and as male by some. Pomona is the Roman goddess turned away from him till he was finally able to seduce and marry her. The point of comparison is that Eve also did not know the real value of Adam from whom she had just turned away. Eve looked like a goddess and Satan will soon seduce her with visions of becoming a goddess. She may also be likened to Ceres the goddess of agriculture and fertility, before Jove seduced her, and fathered Proserpina upon her.

Previous Post Next Post