The Desires of Sin

In their Padlet for Books 2-3, Emily, Liliane, and Xen came up with a description for the character of Sin that goes into something that I don’t think other groups talked about, at least as much as they did; they talked about the feminine traits that Sin inhabits and how that is a reflection of sexual temptation and violence. Sin is inherently sexualixed in the text as seen in these brief quotes:

…a formidable shape;
The one seem’d Woman to the waste, and fair…
…Voluminous and vast…

Book 2; 649-650, 652

And pretty much right after her birth in this scene, she ends up incestuously making out with her dad. She is portrayed as one of the worst sexual deviants known in this Biblical universe. It seems like a pretty extreme example of sex being portrayed as a big no-no in Christianity, as she is simply named after the concept of sinning. But there is more depth here than I realized at first, and I think the group I mentioned noticed this too.

Right after that description, we get more context to her birth:

A cry of Hell Hounds never ceasing bark’d
With wide Cerberian mouths full loud, and rung
A hideous Peal: yet, when they list, would creep,
If aught disturb’d thir noyse, into her woomb,
And kennel there, yet there still bark’d and howl’d
Within unseen.

Book 2; 654-659

“Within unseen” is fascinating. She has this never-ending roar within her at all times, it seems, and it’s never silent, just unnoticed. I think there could be an interpretation here that depicts women as silenced beings who are often shunned by the men in their lives, or in this case, her dad. I don’t think I have enough knowledge of that experience, nor do I really have enough knowledge of this very text to go into more detail about it, but I think there’s something there that I want to highlight.

+ posts

Leave a Reply