Reflection on Why Adam and Eve Ate the Fruit

In class, particularly on the padlet, we discussed at length the reasoning behind Adam and Eve’s decisions to eat the fruit. In Aidan, Colton, Emily, Tess, and Lilian’s post, they talk about Satan convincing Eve to eat the fruit by telling her that if she had the knowledge of what was bad in the world, she would more easily avoid it, and be better for it. Satan then eats the fruit himself to convince Eve that she wouldn’t die from eating it, as he hadn’t. The quote they used to show how Satan was trying to convince Eve that it was a good thing to eat the fruit is:

“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 shunnd?
God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;
Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeyd:
Your feare it self of Death removes the feare.” (697-702)

As for Adam, the group that I was in for the padlet (Gwen, Kayla, Elisabeth, Mary) talked about how Adam’s reasoning for eating the fruit was his great love for Eve, and not wanting to continue on without her. The quote we used from the book to show this was:

“How can I live without thee, howforgoe Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn’d, To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn?[ 910 ] Should God create another Eve, and I Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no no, I feel The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh, Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State[ 915 ] Mine never shall be parted,bliss or woe. “

Milton showed Adam and Eve’s reasoning behind eating the fruit, but why did God allow it in the first place? He knew that Satan was in the garden and was generally up to no good. He even stopped a fight between Satan and another angel at another point in the book. So was allowing Satan to speak to Eve a test? Was he trying to evaluate whether or not Adam and Eve would remain faithful? Maybe even testing how humans would respond to the ability to have “free will”, however the term may be defined? In the story, we hear much of Satan’s motivations alongside Adam’s and Eve’s, but I feel it also would have been interesting to learn what Milton thought of God’s motivations in this context. It was certainly something I was thinking about while reading book nine of Paradise Lost and participating in class on Thursday.

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