Q. “Adam’s disobedience surpasses the virtue of most fallen men.” Do you agree, or do you find Adam a weak character? Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman, the predecessors of man, are the only two human beings in the epic poem of Milton. Before their fall from the paradise, they are as remote from any known human beings as any being of this world from the other world. They live a life of idyllic happiness. In the Garden of Eden, they have little to do but to lop and prune, and prop and bind, to adore their maker, and to avoid the prohibited tree, and thus they are exempt from all pain or injury. Then comes the suggestion of division of labour and she goes to work separately. At no point in the poem before the fall is the effect of insecurity on Eve more easily perceived than in the Separation scene in Book IX of Paradise Lost. The apparently reasonable suggestion of Eve that they will accomplish more on the garden if they separate to divide their labours, and to avoid the distraction of each other’s company, inspires in Adam an inescapable fear that she may be tired of him. He says: “But if much converse perhaps/Thee satiate to short absence I could yeild.” To this extent he is prepared to agree only because he hopes that absence will make his heart grow fonder. Adam assumes that Eve’s love for him should be same as his own love for her, all encomapssing and uniting and that is she wants to leave him she must not truly love him. Moreover, Adam fears losing eve if she discovers that she can survive without him, since he cannot live without her. So the suggestion of division of labour is not liked by Adam although his resistance is very feeble. He explains to her that their creator has made them perfect. He has endowed them with freedom of will and it is possible that they make a wrong choice through some deception of their enemy. He warns her not to go out of her way to seek temptation. He cautioned her against Satanic powers that...
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