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John Milton’s Paradise Lost

In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve are portrayed as innocent and susceptible creatures. Knowing that Adam and Eve were vulnerable and could easily be influenced, Satan took advantage. Satan was seeking revenge on God, and the easiest way for him to do this was to tempt God’s most prized possessions. “But I should ill become this throne, O peers, And this imperial sov’reignty, adorned With splendor, armed with power, if aught proposed and judged of public moment in the shape Of difficulty or danger, could deter Me from attempting” (Book II. 45-450). Satan shows that he desires God’s power, and he will go to any extreme to gain it. Satan is often considered the symbol of deception. He tempts people in ways that people do not realize. In Paradise Lost, Satan overhears God telling Adam and Eve to not eat the forbidden fruit. The angels guarding the gates of the Garden of Eden, “Paradise”, are warned of Satan’s presence and ordered to not allow him to enter the garden. Satan returns to the Garden of Eden as a serpent.

He finds Eve alone and attracts her by telling her that he gained the ability to speak by eating the fruit of another tree in the garden. He takes Eve to the Tree of Knowledge. Even begins to explain to the serpent that God has forbidden her to eat from the tree. The serpent explains to her that God actually wanted her to eat from the tree to show independence. She believed that God had meant eating the fruit would cause death. The serpent had eaten the fruit, and it didn’t die, so why couldn’t she? It had even gained the power of knowledge and the ability to think. He ended; and his words, replete with guile, Into her heart too easy entrance won: Fixed on the fruit she gazed, which to behold Might tempt alone; and in her ears the sound Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregned With reason, to her seeming, and with truth” (Book 9, 733-738). The serpent’s sly use of words convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. “Earth felt the wound; and nature from her seat, Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe, That all was lost” (Book 9, 782-784). At this point, the Earth felt “death. Eve created the fall of man and had no clue she was being tempted by Satan. Satan first deceives Eve by presenting himself to her in the form of a serpent. Most likely, Eve would have never eaten the fruit if it was the actual image of Satan looking at her, as opposed to a serpent. She never thought that a serpent could actually be Satan. Even is also deceived by Satan with his clever language. The way the serpent spoke to her had a lot to do with convincing her to eat the fruit. It was not just the fact that she could potentially gain knowledge.

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