“To question and decide for himself is essential to Milton’s whole sense of what it means to be a free human being…In his astonishing intervention in the Adam and Eve story, Milton considers how it was possible not for ignorant children, but for knowing, thoughtful, complex human beings to do what they did. Specifically, he asks, why was the woman alone when she had her fateful conversation with the serpent, and why did she then do what she did? It’s characteristic of Milton that he works out in the most exquisite and excruciating detail the conversation between the man and the woman when they decided briefly to separate. It wasn’t at all accidental that they were apart; it was a choice that Eve made after her conversation with Adam. And so too it wasn’t mere hunger that led her to eat the fruit. Milton gives a brilliant and painful description that anyone who has been in a relationship for more than five minutes will understand, a description of trying to negotiate your separateness from someone you love and to whom you are committed.” Read more...
The best books on Adam and Eve