Paradise Lost vs Genesis - the Differing Adams

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  • Topic: Michael, Archangel, Gabriel
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  • Published : February 19, 2008
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My purpose is to show that Milton's Adam differs from that of Genesis. The two pieces of literature describe God's creation of earth and mankind. In the two stories, the description of Adam is different. In Milton's Paradise Lost, Adam converses indirectly with God through the archangel Raphael, whereas in Genesis, God talks to Adam, but Adam does not speak back. Another point where Milton's Adam differs from that of Genesis is in the character of Adam. A third point of difference occurs at the point where Eve is presented. Both stories have different ways of describing the creation of woman.

In order to present my argument of comparing Milton's Adam to the Adam of Genesis, I am going to show the difference in the conversing of Adam and God. In Paradise Lost, Adam speaks directly to the arch Angel Raphael to get answers, or to God himself. For example, in Book VII of Paradise Lost, Adam asks God about how earth was created. God then sent Raphael to answer him. In the story, Raphael answers Adam by describing all 7 days of creation. For day one's description, Raphael says, "…And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung. ‘Let there be Light, said God and forthwith Light Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East To journey through the airy gloom began, Spher'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun Was not; shee in a cloudy Tabernacle Sojourn'd the while."(Book VII, line 243-249) This response, along with the remainder of the days of creation intrigued Adam. It also was an example of the direct contact between Milton's Adam and God or his Angels. In Genesis, God communicated directly to Adam, but Adam never spoke to God. One example is "And the Lord God commanded the man saying, From all the trees of the garden thou may surely eat. But as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad thou shalt not eat."(Genesis 2:16-17) This passage is a demonstration of Adam communicating directly with God. These...
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