Paradise Lost Book 9: Line 766-776 - Summary

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      These lines—the soliloquy of Eve shows the complete spell that Satan disguised as a serpent has cast over Eve through his insidious arguments. Eve now thinks exactly on the lines of Satan’s reasonings and feels that God is jealous of man and has been unfair to them. In contrast the serpent appears to be remarkably generous and free from jealousy.

      Eve takes everything said by the serpent to be true. The serpent had not died after eating the forbidden fruit. On the other hand, they were warned by God that if they eat the fruit they shall die. If this is true, then it means that death was invented for human beings alone. The forbidden fruit which she now thinks of as the intellectual fruit seems to bring no death to the beasts. It means that it was forbidden to them alone because of God’s jealousy. On the other hand the serpent who has eaten the fruit is free from jealousy and has generously told her about the real nature of the fruit so that she too can partake of its wonders. She thinks that the serpent is entirely free from malice, cunning and hostility to mankind. There is nothing she needs fear by eating the fruit She need not be afraid of God or of death or of any other punishment. Rather the fruit will give her the knowledge of evil which will help her avoid it. She looks at the inviting fruit and stretches her hand, plucks the fruit and eats it; Eve’s sin is thus, disobedience and loss of faith in God. She has already fallen before she eats the forbidden fruit.

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