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Paradise Lost, Book Eight
(John Milton)

Book VIII continues from Book VII. Adam is still curious about the creation of the world and its finer points. He questions Raphael, but is told that some things are meant to be unknown and uncharted. Raphael states that Man should be happy knowing only what God permits him to know, and nothing further, or else he would be questioning God. Yet however, Raphael decides to reveal to Adam his own creation. Perhaps Milton felt uncomfortable about using his imagination to such an extent as creating the workings of the universe and decided to restrict himself to the Bible as his base for information.

Milton continues with the voice of Adam speaking and describing all that has happened to him since he was created by God. He describes all the activities that he could carry out like walking and running, and he knew what all the creations of God were called, even though he had not been told them. In a dream, he learnt of Eden and went there, God telling him that the only stipulation he had was not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. He was made the ruler of the rest of the Earth, and then introduced him to the animals and their characteristics and what they could be used for. Adam now feels the need for a companion, as each animal has its mate and God creates eve from a rib of Adam that he takes while Adam is asleep. He fell in love with Eve, but she was shy of him and tried to escape from him. Later she gave in to him and decided to follow him and help with his daily activities. Slowly they fall in love and were permitted to be wedded.

Now Milton gives an explanation of the duties of men and women and how they are created according to the Bible through the words of Adam. Adam says that he has great love and desire for Eve, due to her attractiveness. He knows that she is once removed from God, since she had been created by the use of his rib, but yet, he feels overcome by lust for her. Raphael then explains to Adam that Eve is inferior to him since she is not physically and spiritually as strong, she has only beauty. Raphael makes Adam realise that his love for Eve must rise above more than just sexual lust. Adam once again speaks of his lust for Eve, but then confides to Raphael that he loves Eve for more than just fulfilment of sexual desire. He states that they have bonded with their spiritual and intellectual companionship.

Once again, Raphael warns Adam to be wary of Satan and not to disobey the adjuncts of God. Just has Adam has overcome solely passionate love for Eve, he must not let his passion overcome his reason and thus, disobey God. Raphael now leaves Adam to go back to Heaven and Adam returns to his bower that serves as a bed.

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