Monday, February 18, 2008

Adam's Choice.

I was looking up a quote in Paradise Lost, and instead of finding what I was looking for, I found Adam's speech about his choice not to leave Eve after her fall:

O fairest of creation, last and best
Of all God's works, Creature in whom excell'd

Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd,

Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!

How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,

Defac'd, deflow'r'd, and now to death devote ?

Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress

The strict forbiddance, how to violate

The sacred fruit forbidd'n ? Some cursed fraud

Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,

And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee

Certain my resolution is to die;

How can I live without thee, how forego

Thy sweet converse and love so deafly join'd,

To live again in these wild woods forlorn!

Should God create another Eve, and I

Another rib afford, yet loss of thee

Would never from my heart; no no, I feel

The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,

Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state

Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

(IX. 896-916)

The first time I read this passage, I was Eve. I was the wondering/wandering woman, the prototypical feminist, eager to make her own way, to make mistakes perhaps, but to be herself.

Today, reading the same book, I found myself identifying with swept up in the bonds of love and marriage that I sacrifice my own spiritual growth.