Reflection 11/10: Sin

Before reading Milton I had never heard of sin being portrayed as a living being. I had always seen it portrayed and thought of it as an intangible action. In the bible sin is something that can be done, but should be avoided. It ties into free will. Humans have the choice to sin, but God wants them to choose not to, or in other words, choose him. Milton’s having Sin be a woman in his book is an interesting concept.

“Then shining Heav’nly fair, a Goddess arm’d
Out of thy head I sprung; amazement seis’d
All th’ Host of Heav’n back they recoild affraid
At first, and call’d me Sin, and for a Sign [ 760 ]
Portentous held me”

Milton , John. “Paradise Lost: Book 2.” Paradise Lost: Book 2, https://milton.host.dartmouth.edu/reading_room/pl/book_2/text.shtml.

I can see how there could be misogyny tied into this portrayal, like was talked about in class and in multiple posts that people have made this week. One such post that I read was “Sin and Death (Paradise Lost Book 2)” written by Kayla Orthman. In this post, Kayla talks about how Sin and Death were born through incest and rape.

“Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing

Becam’st enamour’d, and such joy thou took’st [ 765 ]

With me in secret, that my womb conceiv’d

A growing burden.”

Milton , John. “Paradise Lost: Book 2.” Paradise Lost: Book 2, https://milton.host.dartmouth.edu/reading_room/pl/book_2/text.shtml.

When I saw this, I automatically thought about the misogyny that can be found in this idea. When Sin and Death are portrayed in this manner, where Sin is supposed to be a female figure, it makes it seem as if Milton is suggesting that everything bad is embodied in women. As if Sin is of women, and Death comes from them. It is definitely a problematic representation. I prefer sin to be represented as intangible actions.

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