Phaedrus, Ovid's Metamorphoses And Paradise Lost: Character Analysis

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In 1760, Oliver Goldsmith wrote, “Our greatest glory is, not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” In other words, Goldsmith argues a person must make a mistake to know how to correct and accomplish a worthwhile task. When considering a person’s desires, a person might indulge in a desire due to the lack of understanding on how to refrain properly from such a temptation. Once he or she gives into a desire, the person can fully see the consequences and adjust his or her wrongful behavior, so the person will be able to control that desire in a sensible manner. Plato’s Phaedrus, Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Milton’s Paradise Lost depict fallen people, who had to learn to manage their desires. In these works, the characters fall due …show more content…
When introducing the charioteer, Socrates mentions “Place, our driver has charge of a pair; secondly, one of them he finds noble and good, and of similar stock, whole the other is of the opposite stock, and opposite in its nature…” (Plato 246b2-4). As a metaphor of the soul, the soul must manage reason, the white horse, with desire, the black horse. The soul must be diligent when steering both horses because the black horse is able to overpower the white horse. To describe the consequences mismanaging the black horse, Socrates states, “Some mischance is weighed down by being filled with forgetfulness and incompetence, and because of the weight loses its wings and falls to the earth…” (248c8-d1). Therefore, the charioteer becomes distracted which allows the black horse to overtake the chariot. The charioteer’s fall gives him a chance to learn to control the desire that caused his fall. In other words, Plato believes that humans are placed on this earth to better manage their desire in order determine their fate in the afterlife. To determine a soul’s progress, Socrates …show more content…
When justifying her actions, Eve states, “Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine / Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste / if virtue to make wise…” (Milton 4.776-778). Because of her desire for power, Eve blindly follows Satan even though she was given a direct order not to eat the forbidden fruit. Even though Paradise provides Eve with all the necessary objects to be happy, she cannot look past the one forbidden object in Paradise. Not only does Eve bring about her own fall, but she also promotes Adam’s fall. When Adam eats the forbidden fruit, Milton’s narrator states, “On my experience, Adam, freely taste / And fear of death deliver to the winds” (4.988-989). Adam is not forced to eat the fruit; however, his desire for love causes him to join Eve in her fallen state. Therefore, both of them undergo a symbolic fall due to a desire. In their fallen state, they engage in sinful behavior, such as lust, shame, and anger. When their shame becomes counter-intuitive, Adam suggests, “He will instruct us praying, and of grace / Beseeching him, so as we need not fear / To pass commodiously this life, sustained” (10.1081-1083). Despite their fall, Adam hopes for a full life beyond their fall. He knows that God is the only one that has the power to give them freedom after their crime. Unlike

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