Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
In Milton’s Paradise Lost, sexuality is depicted to elucidate the dichotomy of love and lust in the pre-fall and post fall period. This distinct contrast between periods account for this division by Milton’s impeccable use of comparison, syntax and imagery. Through these features, Milton is able to showcase characters Adam and Eve’s development in a sexual manner from prelaspertairan to postlaspertairan. Adam and Eve undergo a transition where sexuality is deemed under God as a pure, holy, and innocent to becoming this sexual intrinsic but sinful desire that God believes is only suited for animals. After the fall, Milton’s view on sexuality becomes clear, essentially stating that sexuality must be deemed under God and that without an underlying sense of professionalism and intellectuality, sexual interaction is iniquitous and ungodly. These views rise to the surface through Milton’s selective planned word use and language that play a substantial role in this sexual transformation, supplying Paradise Lost with this wide range of sexual possibility that can be at times both beautiful and ugly.
In book IV, the first sexual encounter between Adam and Eve is vindicated in a conformational and intellectual manner. The intent is clearly done so under God as Adam and Eve retreat to the bed, praising God beforehand, laying side by side. They proceed to have sex but done so in a connubial mode in which Milton’s praise for wedded love becomes clear. God delcares sex as a pure act by stating “Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source/Of human offspring, sole propriety”. Therefore, Adam and Eve have sex with the intention of becoming pregant which for God, is under the utmost refined and innocent conditions required. “Straight side by side were laid. Nor turned I ween adam from his fair spouse nor Eve ther ites Mysterious of connubial love refused, Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Of purity and place and innocence”. Milton’s attributes this notion of conjugal love as being the condition for sexual attraction. Interestingly, Milton uses words such as “mysterious” and “impure” as an indication of his own personal influences under God and sex by viewing Adam and Eves first sexual interation as holy love. Conjugal love accounts for the holiness and purity throughout the prelaspertairan period, however, knowingly Satan will oppose this religious undertone with his motivations revolving sex as “Our maker bids increase; who bids abstain/But our Destroyer, foe to God and man”. Adam and Eve’s sexual link is known not to be strong enough to withstand Satan’s standpoint, therefore, this sexual notion among the two of them is known to change postlasperitrerian.
After Adam and Eve’s wedding in book IV, the religious undertone is heightened in their own personal truths as all done so for God. Adam and Eve refer to God as ‘Maker Omnipotent’ which further connotes the notion of trusting and placing all power in God. Given this ultimiate faith, Adam and Eve praise their thanks by reproducing as they believe Eden is “too large”. “For us too large where Thy abundance wants Partakers and uncropped falls to the ground…To fill the earth who shall with us extol’. This idea that Adam and Eve’s mutual love for each other is what drives their sexual ambition to please God is specific to book IV’s, pre-fall interpretation of sexual expression. Another notable aspect that contrasts the prelaspertarian view and the postlasperterian is how Milton portrays Adam and Eve on a bodily scale. It is known that in book IV, Adam and Eve are naked but normalized on a biblical basis. Milton uses imagery to praise the serene beauty and purity in their authentic naked form that deems sexual love pure. By doing so, the transition from serene and innocent to sinful and shameful is evident by the time Adam and Eve are naked but done so covertly and shamefully.
The main transition from pre-fall to post-fall in regards the deviation between love and lust becomes clear after Eve eats the forbidden fruit. The language has a distinct deviation that accounts for this transition between time periods.