Sunday, October 20, 2013

There may be such a thing as a stupid question...?

          This post is going to be kind of broken up and mostly filled with inquiries that I would love to be answered by you, my beloved classmates.

          First of all (again, all these might be pretty stupid questions) but at the beginning of every book of Paradise Lost, there's that little explanation that explains what that section is about, right? Why is the heading "The Argument" before every single one? 
          Second, Adam is given the commandment by God to "be fruitful, multiply, and fill the Earth." Buuuut I am confused because I thought that child-bearing was only possible after the fall...when they became mortal. So did God already anticipate the fall that early and kind of spoil the ending for readers?

"So much delights me as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions mixed with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned
Union of mind, or in us both one soul,"

^^^Adam speaking about Eve.
I thought it was kind of sweet and romantic and lovely.

          Also, I love that the Raphael (is that his name?) points out that the serpent was the "subtlest beast of all the field," even before we knew how much Satan and his wily ways would screw things up in paradise. Snakes are just inherently evil, I suppose. I've actually averred this to many people, trying to warn them that snakes should never be trusted, let alone do they make decent pets. Ugh.
          I would love my questions to be answered, if not here, then in class! 


  1. The "argument" that prefaces each book was placed there by Milton in the second edition of Paradise Lost to give readers a summary overview of what happens in each of the 12 books. "Argument" in this sense doesn't refer to a claim being made; it's referring more to the central ideas (theme, plot) of the book in question.

  2. Well, the idea that Adam and Eve weren't able to bear children in the Garden of Eden is certainly assumed, and at the time of their expulsion, that was certainly the case, but that doesn't mean that eventually they might have otherwise come to understand how that all worked. In that God walked among them and instructed them, I see it as completely plausible that they would have eventually gained the knowledge necessary to procreate. In the end, though they DID partake and thus gained knowledge, in part from eating the fruit and in part from personal experience as they endured tribulation. We can guess, I suppose, about what might or might not have been, but really we haven't received enough revelation to know anything for sure in that matter.