Presenter Information

John Murphy, DePaul UniversityFollow

Date

4-28-2020

Description

Paradise Lost transforms the story of Genesis, the creation and the Fall of mankind into a fully developed epic. Traditional readings of both Paradise Lost and Genesis have often blamed Eve and, by implication, all females for the loss of paradise. The focus on Eve's transgression has sparked many feminist critiques and counterarguments which move to position the fault equally between the first people or more heavily upon Adam. It seems, however, that the traditional religious interpretation of Genesis, and therefore Paradise Lost, has restricted the interpretations of the Fall to focus merely on the consumption of the fruit, rather than the underlying motivations thereof. In order to break away from the common interpretations while remaining in the context of the epic, I will examine the argument for free will articulated in Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will, which is summarized within Paradise Lost. With a careful focus on free will and its constraints, I will prove that is Eve not at fault for the fall. I will further contend that the Fall occurred, not because of Adam's disobedient consumption of the fruit, but because Adam chooses to love and prioritize Eve over God.

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Apr 28th, 12:00 AM

Adam and the Fall: One that Loved not Wisely, but too Well

Paradise Lost transforms the story of Genesis, the creation and the Fall of mankind into a fully developed epic. Traditional readings of both Paradise Lost and Genesis have often blamed Eve and, by implication, all females for the loss of paradise. The focus on Eve's transgression has sparked many feminist critiques and counterarguments which move to position the fault equally between the first people or more heavily upon Adam. It seems, however, that the traditional religious interpretation of Genesis, and therefore Paradise Lost, has restricted the interpretations of the Fall to focus merely on the consumption of the fruit, rather than the underlying motivations thereof. In order to break away from the common interpretations while remaining in the context of the epic, I will examine the argument for free will articulated in Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will, which is summarized within Paradise Lost. With a careful focus on free will and its constraints, I will prove that is Eve not at fault for the fall. I will further contend that the Fall occurred, not because of Adam's disobedient consumption of the fruit, but because Adam chooses to love and prioritize Eve over God.