Milton’s Paradise lost, Eve is the heroine. She is most often overlooked as a heroic figure because she is not a central character, and her character does not demonstrate equality in comparison to Adam or Satan. A hero or heroine is someone who demonstrates heroic qualities such as courage, leadership and independence. Heroism requires self sacrifice for the greater good of all humanity and excellent morals. In order to argue Eve as a heroine I will investigate Eve’s heroic qualities, the imperfection of Eden and Satan versus Eve.
Eve shows independence when she suggests to Adam to split up in the garden in order to finish their assigned tasks faster. She states, “let us divide our labors; thou, where choice” (Milton, IX. 214). This is the first time when Eve guides Adam instead of following him. Eve assures Adam she is capable when she convinces him that separating in the garden is a better solution. Eve is intelligent and relies on her ability to reason (Milton, IX. 654). Adam believes that Eve has knowledge of good and evil and trusts her to go alone in the garden. (Milton, IX. 697) Eve is the first person to disobey God, by eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. This demonstrates leadership and courage. Eve is aware of the retribution following the rebellion of god’s commands. After having sinned and feeling remorseful, Eve proposes to take her own life. This act of selflessness shows how heroic in nature she is. God offers Messiah to partake in Adam and Eve’s punishment. God takes their immortality by turning them into humans instead of killing Adam and Eve (Paradise Lost). The two mortals are able to repent for their sins. Eve’s rebellion against God is treated as heroic because the fall is fortunate. Her actions ultimately pave the way for humankind’s redemption and salvation, the deliverance from sin. The punishment of expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden revolutionized Paradise. They went from being...
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