Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor's Name

Donald G. Watson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Carmela P-McIntire

Third Advisor's Name

Phillip Marcus

Date of Defense

7-23-2004

Abstract

This writing explores how food in Paradise Lost reflects Eve's power in the story of man's (and woman's) fall from grace. Critics often emphasize Adam in Paradise Lost; however, I challenge the notion of the first man as the most influential character of the poem. By examining Eve's role and her abilities with food, one sees the first woman as a well-rounded, complete being, albeit the first to succumb to temptation. Notwithstanding her transgression, -- certainly no trivial act of disobedience -- Eve should be viewed at least as Adam's equal, if not his superior. Her uncanny understanding of matters related to food points to skills Adam does not enjoy, and even Milton acknowledges Eve's importance in this arena. By studying the food in this epic, we see Eve sheds much light on all the other elements of Paradise Lost, and her personal strengths become obvious.

Identifier

FI13101578

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