Paradise Lost, Book 9: the Story of Adam and Eve (1688)

This serial picture provides the dramatic sequence in the relations of Adam and Eve which was distilled in our script for John Milton's Drama of 'Paradise Lost' (published by Peter Lang, 1992). The Miltonic relationship matches effects in Shakespeare plays such as Romeo and Juliet and comic ones in Dryden's Marriage à la Mode. An engraving by Michael Burgesse after John Baptist Medina.

This illustration covers the whole evolution of the relationship between Adam and Eve which is the core of the epic. This progression begins their idyll of ignorant innocence in Eden, and evolves when Eve seeks independence of Adam (IX.205-383) plausibly leading to her acceptance of Satan's argument to progress from independence to superiority (IX.473-834). Her decision to share her new knowledge with Adam is a comic masterpiece of solecism, leading to her seduction of Adam (IX.795-1032). This inevitably leads to a post-coital quarrel, after which Eve seeks and ultimately achieves reconciliation (X.888-1096). This overall sequence vividly illustrates any couple's first marital quarrel; for example it roughly matches the separation and reconciliation of Milton with his first wife.

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Picture and data courtesy of the Yorck Project, under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License (Wikipedia)