Abstract

In Paradise Lost, Milton allows Eve and Adam to narrate their first moments of consciousness. By attending to this largely overlooked and seemingly simple fact, I demonstrate how Milton marks Eve as the poem’s true original in all senses of the word. Although Eve still falls first, Milton roots this sin not in the weakness of her gender but in the chance circumstances of her awakening, which she inventively recounts. Ultimately, Milton offers Eve not only linguistic superiority over Adam but authorship over her own self, thereby flagging—even providing inspiration for—the emerging female author of the mid-seventeenth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 137-155
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-04
Open Access
No
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