Paradise Lost Book 9 : Satan, The True Mastermind

 

Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die'” (Genesis  3:4) | by Benn Matthew | Medium

In this week’s reading ‘Paradise Lost Book 9’, we learn more about how Satan manipulated Eve when he found her alone and told her about the forbidden fruit. He made sure to make her eat the forbidden fruit also bringing to Adam. Upon consumption of the fruit, both Adam and Eve seek to cover their nakedness while blaming each other for their current circumstances.

“God hath assign’d us, nor of me shalt pass

Unprais’d: for nothing lovelier can be found

In Woman, then to studies household good,

And good workers in Her Husband to promote. [ Book 9 231 – 234 ]

Isn’t it surprising how Adam ate the forbidden fruit because he loved Eve and wanted to support her? But when the effect of the forbidden fruit showed and they went naked, Adam accused Eve of making him eat the fruit. In the above lines, he states how God has created them for a purpose and how ungrateful they have become as they disobey the commands given by God. Adam enforces how Eve should be good at maintaining the household and look out for the betterment of him. To be honest, Satan aka the serpent is the mastermind behind this havoc as he intentionally manipulated Eve and took the advantage of her being alone which initially struck this issue. Satan wanted to create this misunderstanding between Adam and Eve and create conflicts that he was successful in doing so. From my perspective, I think Satan did this because he wanted to take revenge on God as God was proud of humans as His Best Creation and gave them recognition and acknowledgment. Therefore, due to that single mistake of Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden, today humans are living on earth and still today just like Adam thinks how women should look for the betterment for their husband existing till date. But then again, isn’t it also men’s duty to look after the betterment of their women and if Adam had never left Eve alone then Satan would have never got the chance to pursue her and she would have never eaten the forbidden fruit.

Paradise Lost : Humans were made to make mistakes

Finding a Long-Hidden Secret in “Paradise Lost” | Tufts Now

In this week’s reading “Paradise Lost” by John Milton, Book 1 illustrated the message of man’s disobedience and how this caused them to lose their place in Heaven. Moreover, also mentions how Satan belongs to the reign of hell aka burning lake.

“Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit

Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast

Brought Death into the world, and all our woe

With loss of Eden, till one greater Man”

The following lines mentioned above resemble the message we had found in Genesis where Satan aka the serpent had lured Eve to eat the forbidden fruit which she had also shared with Adam. Even though the Creator had warned them not to eat from the Forbidden Tree, Adam and Eve both disobeyed God’s commands which had resulted in disobedience. This disobedience led to punishment for which Adam and Eve were thrown from Paradise and sent to Earth to live. On the other hand, the serpent also known as Satan was also thrown out of Paradise as he manipulated Eve which ended this situation and led to the consequences. Paradise Lost has this familiar tone that also resonates with Genesis of how no one can save you from God’s wrath and punishment for your wrongdoings. From my perspective, I think God didn’t create humans perfectly or rather made us with flaws which sometimes is reflected in our disobedience and wrongdoings. However, I believe the reason behind this is God wants us to seek His forgiveness and appreciate his creation as He is the Most Perfect One. Moreover, my reasoning behind Satan pursuing Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit is that maybe he was jealous of how God had created a superior being than angels. According to Quran, Humans are considered the best creations of God and on the other hand, angels were made out of light. Nevertheless, Angels had to bow before Adam, the first human as God commanded but Satan who used to be one of God’s favorite angels disobeyed to bow saying how he was more superior than a human made out of clay. Therefore, disobedience is just not found in humans but also in angels as they are not perfect.

Paradise Lost

This book focusing on the downfall of man and the story of Adam and Eve eating in the forbidden fruit. The downfall that has had lasting consequences that affects us today.

“ Of man’s first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world and all woe”.

The language is harsh in a sense as well as surprising to a certain degree. You wouldn’t suspect that one piece of fruit could do so much damage to all of mankind. Looking at satan’s response to being casted out of heaven and no longer being one of God’s angels, I can feel the anger that Satan was expressing and the blame that he placed on God. Satan not understanding why he was tempted in the first place.

“ Lay vanquished rolling in the fiery gulf confounded through immortal: but his doom”. Satan  having to deal with the consequences of his actions and how his immortality is bittersweet as it is referred to as his doom.”

God says that at the end of it all only he can restore our place in heaven after the punishment he gave us, only if we devote ourselves to him. I wonder why did God bet everything on Adam and Eve and them not eating the fruit. I feel like God knew they couldn’t handle that temptation and still gave it to them anyway, I find that kind of messed up and cruel. To let the actions of two people destroy the chance for others in the future to live in a world without sin is not right in my opinion. It just something we have to deal with as result.

Week 12- As You Like It

In the reading “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, nature plays a heavy role in the progression of this weeks play. Though nature is actually a very broad topic of study and analysis. So narrowing down this play further, nature is being considered as an influencer. Nature is seen as what’s natural or perhaps viewed in a more predictive light. One particular quote that I found important is:

“Peradventure this is not Fortune’s work neither, but Nature’s, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone, for always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits” (I.ii.45–50).

In this quote, there are different ways to interpret the way nature is perceived by the girls. Celia makes a clear indication that Touchstone is perceived as a fool. His foolishness is considered to be natural as this would imply that human wit is not natural. Upon Touchstone’s entry the way the girls distinguish themselves as the ones with sharper wit establishes the difference between human society and human nature. The girls are high standing in society with proper etiquette and education. They deviate from what is natural in order to integrate into their positions in society and when they are forced out to the forest those standards of living changed. Protecting themselves became a focus to their lives, doing what it takes to survive follows this occurring element of nature and instincts. Delving even further the Forest of Arden is the physical manifestation of nature. In a sense nature is the cause for affect. Orlando wasn’t able to confess his love for Rosalind in society, but by hanging poems and carving her name into trees she was able to acknowledge his feelings. Love is an element of nature and nature is seen as foolish, so as a result a significant concept of the play is that love is foolish.

Fruit of action

This week’s reading on “From The Bhagavad-gita” is about Arjuna first questioning the purpose of war and the disadvantage of having a victory while your kinship suffers. To make a wise decision, Arjuna asks Krsna- the god who preserves the moral order of the universe to advise him so that he can make an effective choice between being the greatest warrior or a thankful family member. In this case, the action Arjuna takes in the middle of this battle is essential. Actions are the step or motions of completing something, however, according to Krsna, action is: 

“Action is far inferior 

to the practice of higher mind;

seek refuge there, for pitiful

are those moved by fruit of actions! (The Bhagavad-gita, 1284)

This quote is saying that every action has a result or every action has a reaction. The fruit of action is the results that come from doing the action. When taking actions one needs to consider whether there is an intended or unintended motivation behind that action. In the case of Arjuna’s problem to pursue the action of being a warrior or leaving the battlefield, Arjuna needs to understand the motivation behind his action. Essentially, Krsna is saying when action is done by the desire for pleasurable results, that result won’t be so pleasurable as time passes by because the intention behind that action (the seed) wasn’t a good reason. Also, according to Krsna, this action has to be done without “attachment” which means being unbiased about what is right and wrong. All in all, I believe Krsna is telling Arjuna to think of his motivation and act with full mindfulness and skills without attachment to have a good outcome or result in this war. 

 

Week 10

Looking at this story, the quote “Those for whose sake we desire kingship, pleasures and enjoyments are now drawn up in battle lines their lives and riches now abandoned”

Seeing one refiect being a king is something that is rare in those times even today. Those that worship earthly possession have to face steep consequences that some are not ready to face. “What good even life and pleasure”?

What good is all the perks of success if you have to ruin others to get it. Arjuna does not what any part of death and does not want Dhritarashtra’s sons death on his conscious. All of the riches that kings enjoy mean nothing after you die, you cant’t take it with you. “Even if they mastered by greed are blind to the consequences of family destruction” Mastered by greed is a human weakness that most of us have as we all want to live the best life possible before we die. The love for money can destroy us and control our lives. So therefore money does become our master. It can cause us to turn against our loved ones and ruin life long friendships. Arjuna  does a good job stating his point as he revels the bigger picture of things to Krishna. Looking at this story the quote ‘’ money is the root of all evil’’ as the obsession with money can ruin your life and even though we need it to survive, it shouldn’t consume us. In the end of it all, earthly possessions are just not worth your life and your family’s life.

Week-9 feminine power

This week’s play “Medea” by Euripides focuses on Medea’s family life, the experience of exile, and being unloved by the person she gave up everything for. This play was fascinating in showing how far someone can go when they are in “love”. Her rage and destruction caused her to murder King Creon’s daughter, her brother, King Creon, and her children. The play is mostly led by women: Medea, Medea’s nurse, and the chorus of Corinthian women which shows that perhaps Euripides’ purpose in writing this play wasn’t only a breakup story, rather a play of feminine power after a turmoil.

Medea’s rage makes her emotionally distressed to the point where she is not able to think correctly. Her betrayal experience with her husband, Jason makes her conclude that there is no freedom when you are married to a man and the custom and laws are not fair to women. For example, a woman is seen as “ disgraceful” (764) for a “divorce” (764) in society’s view, but society doesn’t realize the independence she received from having a divorce. This is similar to today’s world where a woman is seen as loud or angry when she speaks up for her rights and her body. Interesting enough the way women were oppressed in Greek Mythology time is the same way some women are treated today. Medea wasn’t reasonable when she killed her two children, but she deserves her freedom since she doesn’t have anything else to lose.
Throughout the play, Medea uses repetition of what she has lost as a reason to get revenge. Medea states “I am alone, without a city, disowned by my husband, snatched from a foreign land, I have no mother, brother, or other families to shelter me now that disaster has struck” (765). This goes to show family is the only one that would stay by your side despite the dilemma. However, since nothing is left for Medea, her actions may not have any consequences on her, since she has nothing to lose. This gives her more reason to seek revenge. Her dignity and image of being a woman, mother of two children, and princess of Colchis are destroyed because laws and society let a man have more power in a relationship causing opression to woman.

Week 7-Love? :/

This week’s reading was “From Metamorphoses” by poet Ovid, who focuses on changes and extramarital sex. Book one of the Metamorphoses talks about how God tries to make everything uniform and the story of Apollo and Daphne. The story begins with Cupid, who is the god of love, throwing an arrow of gold, representing love, while the blunt lead symbolizes hate due to Apollo questioning Cupid about whether the arrow befits him. When Cupid made Apollo fall in love with Daphne, she tried to reject his love to the point where she requested to change herself to a tree. 

As I dissect this story, the more I think about what love is. Is love someone chasing you down until you fall in love with them? Is it taking control over your loved ones? Was it a love story between Apollo and Daphne? In my view, Apollo and Daphne are not truly in love, rather Apollo is trying to rape Daphine. This reminds me of a short story called “Where you going, and where you” by Joyce Carol Oates. It’s about a young girl named Connie who almost forgets about her reality and tries to run from almost getting raped. Many images in the story show the sexual desire Apollo had for Daphne. For example, “ I am stalking you because of love […] Loving her still, the god puts his right hand against the trunk, and even now can feel her heart as it beats under the new bark; he hugs limbs as if they were still human” (From Metamorphoses, 764-766). The author gives a vivid image of Daphne’s body being praiseworthy and the love he has for her despite Daphne’s choice to stay a virgin. Apollo was too focused on his desires, causing Daphne to wish to be something else. This goes to show that due to Apollo’s desire, Daphne was unable to do what she liked and be who she wanted to be. It takes away the freedom of choice, even if your father is God. She runs away from him as fast as she could, but, even after becoming a tree, Apollo continues to force his love upon her by kissing, hugging, and touching her. This is considered rape because it is being done without the permission of Daphne. This story can be an issue of having too much authority and loving too much because Apollo as a God and Cupid being the god of love, destroyed a woman’s life by taking her option of choosing who she wants to be. The change of Daphne from being a beautiful woman to a tree shows that changes may not always change the situation, but it can prove to the future people morality. 

 

Week 7 – Chaos and The Creation

Roman mythology, just like the Bible, included a description of creation. The creation story in Metamorphoses was very reminiscent of Genesis with its descriptions of how Earth came to be from nothing, or “Chaos” as The Creation calls it. In fact, Earth’s creation was summarized as this:

Now when that god (whichever one it was)

had given Chaos form, dividing it

in parts which he arranged, he molded earth

into the shape of an enormous globe,

so that it should be uniform throughout. (Metamorphoses, The Creation 1030)

In Genesis, Earth was “created” when God created light and lit up the world. In Roman mythology, however, there is a description of how Earth as a globe was created. Metamorphoses mentioned the creation of light earlier, but in this excerpt, it’s important to note that Earth was created from chaos, which had no form and was described as pure anarchy. Even though Earth was uniform and its parts were arranged by a god, the fact that it was just a form of chaos may explain the variety of seemingly chaotic events that took place on Earth, especially involving humans. 

Looking at Earth from the perspective of organized chaos may provide interesting explanations for the actions of humans and nature. For example, although humans committed questionable acts and caused chaos, there was still balance in the end because the chaos was in an organized form. In addition to that, when destructive natural events occurred and also seemed to cause chaos, Earth and life still recovered and balance was restored in the end for the same reason as in the previous example. The excerpt also depicted Earth’s spherical shape as a choice by the god so Earth was “uniform throughout”. A possible explanation for the need for uniformity was to organize the chaos and allow for the balance that it was lacking previously. 

Week 6: Gilgamesh

This weeks reading was from The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 5 through 11.The reoccurring theme of death is displayed throughout the reading. In the following quote from Gilgamesh, Enkidu is describing his frightening experience with a dream he had about being captured by some type of creature. It is described to be an eagle with the head of a lion. This creature pulled Enkidu down to the underworld.
“His hands were the paws of a lion,
His fingernails were the talons of an eagle.
He seized me by the hair, he was too strong for me,
I hit him but he spring back like a swing rope,
He hit me and capsized me like a raft.
Like a wild bull he trampled me,
‘Save me, my friend!’ -but you did not save me!
He trussed my limbs like a bird’s.
Holding me fast, he took me down to the house of shadows,
the dwelling of hell…” (Gilgamesh 125)
In the first two lines Endiku is describing the creature that he is faced with. He goes on to explain the battle the creature is putting him through. He is being hit and trampled by the creature. Enkidu cried for help but no one helped him. He was then dragged down to the underworld. Although this is a dream, it does have some truth to it. Enkidu is being dragged down to the underworld, with no control and no way to stop it. Much like death, it is inevitable, there is no way to prevent it or slow down the process. It is fully out of your control.