Top 2 Paradise Lost quotes

  • "Not equal, as thir sex not equal seem'd;
    For contemplation hee and valor form'd,
    For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
    Hee for God only, shee for God in him:
    His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd
    Absolute rule; and Hyacinthine Locks
    Round from his parted forelock manly hung
    Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
    Shee as a veil down to the slender waist
    Her unadorned golden tresses wore
    Dishevell'd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd
    As the Vine curls her tendrils, which impli'd
    Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
    And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
    Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
    And sweet reluctant amorous delay." - Book IV

    These are the observations of the narrator when comparing Adam and Eve, there is a distinctly misogynistic character to these lines, but the subject is treated similarly in the Bible. During the time of this poem's composition, the commonly held position was that women were the weaker sex, not only in physical traits but rather in intelligence as well as virtue. Here, in this cited passage, Milton writes of a hierarchy, which begins with God, below him Adam, and below Adam, Eve. This fact is continually restated throughout the poem, and Eve is depicted as being vain and concerned with outward appearances far more than Adam who is shown to be more spiritual and virtuous.

  • "What better can we do, than to place
    Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
    Before him reverent, and there confess
    Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
    Watering the ground, and with our sighs the
    Air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
    Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
    Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
    From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
    When angry most he seem'd and most severe,
    What else but favor, grace, and mercy shone?
    So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve
    Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
    Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell
    Before him reverent, and both confess'd
    Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
    Watering the ground, and with their sighs the
    Air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
    Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek." -Book 10

    This point marks the divergence on the paths of Satan and Man, here Adam consoles Eve and directs her towards supplication to God. He talks of the mildness in God's punishment to them and together they seek to win back the grace of God by way of prayer. Man continues to be favored by God because Man chooses to confess and repents for his disobedience to God even though his disobedience did not come from within but rather from the seduction of Satan. This is why Satan's fate differs from that of Man, Satan chose to rebel against God's command out of Jealousy and Envy, he sought the power that did not belong to him and moved to challenge the power of God. Furthermore, Satan finds that he is incapable of repenting for his crime and thus is forever doomed to a state of hell.