"Paradise Lost" and Feminism
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This paper examines how John Milton's poem, "Paradise Lost", embodies strongly feminist elements in addition to its religious overtones. Previous criticism of Milton's masterpiece have focused on the religious downfall of man, yet this paper takes this perspective a step further, showing how Eve receives the blame. The paper defines feminism as striving for equality with men, no matter what the area of activity, be it political, economical or social. According to this review, Milton goes beyond this traditional definition, and and argues for the woman as a symbol of freedom, of liberation, as well as an inspirational figure who is able to build the leadership momentum, and in the case of Adam and Eve, take Adam out in the world, offering him his freedom. Quotes from the text are used to support this interpretation. The paper includes an overview of the poem's plot and analysis of its main characters.
From the Paper:"However, existentialist evolvement and analysis of the situation from this perspective was enough to assimilate Adam and Eve's situation more from a human approach and, at the same time, more secular. According to these analysts, leaving the Garden of Eden, along with the taste from the Tree of Knowledge, was equivalent to a new type of freedom being discovered by Adam and Eve. At the same time an act of courage, turning against the will of God in search for knowledge, meant that this turned to an escape and a positive deed provoked, again, by Eve, becoming the artisan of a search for freedom. It is among these lines that Milton builds his "Paradise Lost", a feminist work from many perspectives."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Earl, James W. "Eve's Narcissism." Milton Quarterly 19, 1985.
- Landy, Marcia. "Kinship and the Role of Women in Paradise Lost". Milton Studies 4. 1972.
- Shullenberger, Wm. "Wrestling with the Angle: Paradise Lost and Feminist Criticism." Milton Quarterly 20. 1986.
- Doerksen, D. "Let There Be Peace': Eve as Redemptive Peacemaker in Paradise Lost, Book X", Milton Quarterly 32. December 1997.
- Rust, Jennifer. English Department. Xavier Hall, Saint Louis. 14 Nov 2007
Cite this Poem Review:
"Paradise Lost" and Feminism (2010, October 26) Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/paradise-lost-and-feminism-145127/
""Paradise Lost" and Feminism" 26 October 2010. Web. 28 January. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/paradise-lost-and-feminism-145127/>