Thursday, October 15, 2009

In Which We Briefly Quote Paradise Lost in Support of Eve

I went apple-picking last weekend. You know what apples mean to an English major. That's right. Paradise. Oh, and the curse of the Black Pearl. But it all comes to the same thing.

Queen of this universe, do not believe
Those rigid threats of death: ye shall not die:
How should you? by the fruit? it gives you life
To knowledge; by the threatener? look on me,
Me, who have touched and tasted; yet both live,
And life more perfect have attained than Fate
Meant me, by venturing higher than my lot.
Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast
Is open? or will God incense his ire
For such a petty trespass? and not praise
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain
Of death denounced, whatever thing death be,
Deterred not from achieving what might lead
To happier life, knowledge of good and evil;
Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
Be real, why not known, since easier shunned?
God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just . . .
(Book IX, lines 683-699)

Call me crazy, but I find this to be sound logic. Sure, you've got to question it when a snake starts talking to you, but what does Eve know? This is the first evil snake ever, and she doesn't even know what evil is. Why does everyone think she should have seen through this? Milton makes me so mad.

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