“Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.” (9.911)
John Milton believes it is his responsibility to enlighten the world that predestination and free will can exist simultaneously. He uses the very well-known story of Adam and Eve, and elaborates the details to establish the theme of an epic. Adam is caught in a horrible situation between Eve and God. He has been told to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, but his wife Eve has disobeyed and eaten some of the fruit. Adam’s first thoughts aren’t even to deny the fruit and let Eve fall alone. The thought he goes to is of “God creating another Eve” (9.911) and him being depressed with this new woman. She would be a replacement, but the true Eve “would never from his heart” (9.913).
Adam and Eve’s fall is the center of Milton’s whole argument about predestination and free will. Both people are given a chance to choose what path they will take, and both fall. Adam doesn’t just take the apple and eat because it was placed in front of him; there was a thought process going through his head leading up to his choice of eating the fruit. Eve, “flesh of flesh,
bone of [his] bone” (9.914) has convinced him to follow to the side of death. There wasn’t even a massive argument between the two: Adam took it on himself and his own thoughts to take the fruit. There is proof in Adam’s knowledge of the different options he has when he states that God can “create another Eve, and I another rib afford” (9.911). If free will did not exist there would be only one option Adam could take, but this situation proves that God can know what is going to happen with the tree and Man, but still give him the option to do what he wants, either eating the fruit or avoiding it and following...