Eve Character: Discuss the character of Eve in Paradise Lost, paradise lost eve character
Eve, the mother of mankind is portrayed by Milton as of a typical womanish nature. She is frail, beautiful, clever, yet easy to be seduced. She is the one that wants freedom from her husband only to be seduced by Satan without her will. She deserves all praise for her beauty and she is the beloved wife of Adam. They are quite happy in discharge of their duties. Milton, in delineating the character of Eve,has portrayed the weaknesses of women. It seems that all woe and troubles are associated with her because if she were not bent upon proving her independence, man would not fall.
All the strifes and conflicts among mankind are attributed to the evil of tasting the fruit of forbidden tree; this is alluded to Eve alone. Though Adam may be responsible for his loose control yet it is primarily the "faithless" deed of Eve which leads mankind into multitude of troubles unseen. God foretells of man's fall to Christ in the words:
"So will fall
Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault?
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
All he could have; I made him just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall."
The character of Eve is symbolical on several layers of meaning. At first she is a woman created inferior to her male partner. She is physically weak and has nothing to do in the valours of war. However, she is like a flower that is delicate and appeals the looker on. With the creation of Eve, God has actually harmonized the beauty of this world i.e. the bestiality and warsome bravery of men is equalized with the presence of the beauty of flower like delicacy of female sex. Yet from another angle it is an answer to the growing desire of women for freedom and equality with men.
The character also portrays that unbridled freedom and urge for equality would yield a negative influence on human society, already filled with chaotic fall of man, and the fall would perhaps lead to the very destruction of humankind. The first fall was from paradise to the world of woe an misery but this second fall may even degenerate man and help the forces of evil to subdue man into the chains and nets of devils. This would be the greatest fall which may hurl man into the pangs of hell.