Narcissism In Paradise Lost

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In this passage it becomes quite clear that Eve is consumed by the myth of Narcissus (Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with the reflection or image that they portray to others. Wikipedia) Her initial reflection consumes her and is the basis for her story. She describes her reaction at seeing herself to Adam within the listening frame of Satan. This is a dialogue between a married couple that Milton sets to a framed role of Eve within the union. Eve is discussing with Adam her origins in Paradise and how she was created from him and thus a lesser being than him. Here Milton sets up an iambic pentameter narrative that will continue to oppress Eve, she is beneath Adam and easily controlled. When Eve speaks of being …show more content…
The “I” is not the stressed word in this line but “first” is making the story about her creation and not her as an individual. Milton entire narrative is about God and not humanity. The next line breaks his iambic verse in “Under a shade of flowers, much wond’ring where” (451) but continues to place emphasis on God by emphasizing the missing “it”. Eve was not born of the light thus she is distant from God. Eve is below man but still possesses self-importance with her image in the water, it has “answering looks Of sympathy and love” (line 464 -5). According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, ‘sympathy,’ within the parameters of this line, means “an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other” Within the text most of the characters are classified as masculine even when Milton does not indicate the gender. Eve is the only identified female character. She finds no sympathy from any of the other participants and so she has to gaze into the water to console herself with her own personal sympathy. Eve is female and was generated from Adam; she is an foreigner in her own world. When she is yearning a “vain desire” (line 466) it is in …show more content…
Eve attempts to “fli’st” from Adam, who pursues her with the statement “I seek thee, and thee claim” (487). Eve has no choice in the scenario except to submit to Adam’s advances as he has laid “claim” to her. ‘Claim’ is defined in the Miriam Webster Dictionary as “to assert to be rightfully one 's own”, which is completely merited. According to God, it is the obligation of Eve to bow down to Adam and meet all of his needs as his companion. Milton now begins to allude to the violence that is taking place between Adam and Eve. The abrupt gesture that takes place “with that thy gentle hand Seized mine, I yielded” (488-9).” Shows that by force she is taken to his presence to perform for Adam her wifely duties. The word “seize” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “to get or take (something) in a forceful, sudden, or violent way” and when it is joined with “yielded” it shows that there was a violent battle happening between the two companions and that Eve did not follow Adam on her own accord. This begins the set up for the fall of Eve. She is engaged in relationship that is based on submission and the taking of her own free will by Adam, she is oppressed and without any control. Her oppression at that hand of Adam and her negation in the eyes of God sets the course for her later seduction by Satan in the epic. She is already apart from God and the temptation of Satan allows her to

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