Role Of Eve In John Milton's Sexism

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Eve: A Product of Milton’s Sexism

For centuries, women were seen as inferior to men, alive only to cater to their unreasonable and at times completely preposterous demands. The status and representation of women for the majority of Western history was restrictive. They were entitled to very few legal, political or economic rights and were expected to submit themselves to the incongruous needs of the patriarchal society. The traditional gender roles confined them to the domestic sphere. This continued from the Renaissance all the way up to the Age of Enlightenment, after which the attitude toward women began to improve. Literature played an important role in this and the first signs of feminism was seen through the writings of prolific women such as Mary Wollstonecraft. John Milton’s works indicated a lot regarding his thoughts on women. However, years have passed and scholars still argue about his true proclivities towards the female gender. Some indict him on an unabashed charge of misogyny while some feel that he is a closet feminist, endeavouring to elevate the position of women through his what he writes. Eve in Paradise Lost alone shoulders the responsibility of being either a vile, narcissistic woman whose tryst with Satan leads to their expulsion from Eden; or of being a humble and majestic woman whose post-lapsarian deeds will once again win them God’s grace. But, there can also be a third possibility, Milton does not believe that women are inherently evil,
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