To begin explaining why this theory is not the truth of the text, let us begin with said theory. Gender Studies and Feminist critics have rhetorically argued for the culpability of the disobedience to God belonging more so to Adam than Eve. Scholar Rachel Russo argues that because Adam and Eve are clearly not created as equals, and Adam distinctly treats Eve as his inferior prior to their transgression [...] it is apparent that Adam’s suppression of Eve clearly affected her decision to violate the Prohibition, thus causing the Fall of Man.” (Russo 1). In her analysis, Russo shifts all of the burden to Adam, accusing him of “constant depreciation of Eve’s meritorious qualities.” Russo claims that, “the hierarchy in which [Eve] is placed does not allow her to form the connection that the reflection she sees in the water is herself,” disputing the meaning of Eve’s “vain desire” in Book 4 and re-directing it as “simply intellectually curious about her own existence and sense of self, a...
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...tempted, self-deprav 'd: Man falls deceiv’d” (Milton 3.130).
God allows for the opportunity to either stand or fall; in essence free will, despite his acknowledgement of Fate, and foresight. This acknowledgement of Fate, thus confirms that God already knew Satan was inside the Garden; that Sin had already gotten through; and that the hierarchy imposed and the inequalities in the Garden already existed, if at the very least, in God’s foresight. Does this mean that we should not study Milton anymore? Does it mean that nothing we do has purpose? That nothing Adam does, nor Eve, carries any kind of weight? I would argue that it indubitably calls for the opposite; that we should maximize every opportunity we can get, to choose, to make decisions, and fulfill that sense of agency within ourselves. And in the end of Paradise Lost, isn’t that what Mankind does?
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