3. What is the effect of the Fall on Adam and Eve Answer: The specious words of the serpent into Eve's heart "too early entrance win." The fruit looked delicious, it was noontime, and she was hungry. The smell of the fruit aroused her appetite. So "Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she eat." While nature sighed "That all was lost," and the serpent slunk back into the thicket, Eve immediately felt the effects of the Fall. She eats to excess as never before. Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint, And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length And height'n'd as with Wine, jocund and boon Thus to herself she pleasingly began.
"Greedily,"ingorg'd,"Satiate,"height'n'd,"jocund," and "boon" all suggest excess in eating and drinking. "Height'n'd as with Wine," Eve, like a drunken person, is filled with confidence and high spirits. She praises the tree which gave such fruit, (C. S. Lewis speaks of her as "worshipping a vegetable" at this point) and promises to offer it praise every morning. In her overconfidence she expects to grow more and more mature, the more she eats of the fruit.
She expects to attain "knowledge, as the gods who all things know." (Note that she says "gods" now, not God. ) She feels that she is reaping the fruits of experience, that Heaven is too remote to know what she is doing, and that the "great For bidder" and his spies have other cares. In short, she feels (falsely) that she has got away with disobedience and profited from it. The next thing that we notice is her attitude toward Adam.
She wonders whether or not she should tell him about her discovery. Both her arguments are selfish. First she thinks she will keep her knowledge secret so to ad what wants In Female Sex, the more to draw his Love, And render me more equal, and perhaps, A thing not undesirable, sometime Superior: for inferior who is free So already she is tempted both to deceive Adam Eve and to be (if possible) superior to him, thus upsetting the hierarchy of order. But her next thought is different, though it is equally selfish.
Suppose God has seen her disobedience and suppose she really dies as a consequence. Could she bear the thought of "Adam wedded to another Eve" Jealous already in imagination, she decides she could not bear it. Confirm'd then I resolve, Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe So dear I love him, that with him all deaths I could endure, without him live no life. And once more she bows to the tree, committing the sin of idolatry. Meanwhile, Adam has woven a wreath of flowers, for her hair and is looking forward to her return, a little anxious over her welfare.
She meets him with a bough of the tree in her hands, and tells him somewhat apologetically that she has missed him. Quickly she plunges into the subject of the tree. The tree, she explains, is not evil or dangerous. It made the serpent wise and Eve wiser than shed use to be, "and growing up to Godhead." She wants him to eat it too, for bliss is not true bliss unless it is shared. Thus Eve with Count " nance blithe her story told, But in her Cheek distemper flushing glow'd.
Adam "Astonied stood and Blank," dropping the wreath he had made. He reproved Eve as "defac'd deflower'd, and now to Death devote." He sees clearly what has happened-Satan has tricked her-but even with his eyes open he knows what he will do: "Certain my resolution is to die." He loves Eve so much that he could not live without her. Even "another Eve" could not make him forget her. Flesh of Flesh, Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy state Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
He loves her with physical rather than spiritual love, but Eve is delighted that he has offered her so noble a proof of his love. She offers him some of the fruit and he sins quite consciously: He scrupl'd not to eat Against his better knowledge, nod deceiv'd, But fondly overcome with Female charm. His sin is uxoriousness. As in the case of Eve, the effect of the sin is immediate. Adam is delighted with the fruit. The two...
swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Divinity within them breeding wings. Both experience "carnal desire." Hee on Eve Began to cast lascivious Eyes; she him As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn: Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move Their mutual attraction now is contrasted with the dignity and beauty of their previous nuptial love. Adam "forbore not glance or toy/ Of amorous intent," and Eve's eyes "darted contagious Fire." On a bank of flowers They thir fill of Love and Love's disport Took largely of thir mutual guilt the Seal, The solace of thir sin, till dewy sleep Opress'd them, wearied with thir amorous play. But their sleep is not light and healthful, as before, but gross and heavy, and when they awake, innocence is gone.
Their nakedness, which previously seemed natural to them, now seems shameful, and they make themselves loin cloths of fig-leaves. They sit down to weep, but not only tears, but sinful emotions now appear. "High Passions, Anger, Hate, / Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord," now shake their minds, once visited only by peace, For Understanding rul'd not, and the Will Heard not her lore, both in subjection now To sensual Appetite, who from beneath Usurping over sovran Reason claim'd Superior sway. Their mutual recriminations begin. Adam blames Eve for going off by herself to test her virtue. Eve says first, that Adam would have been deceived, just as she was, and second, that he should have stopped her, as she was the weaker of the two.
"Is this how you repay my love" Adam replies, "I have given up immortal bliss to stay with you. I warned you about going off alone." So the two go on bickering, but neither really blames himself. Sin has entered into the world and into the relationships of men and women. Adam ate the fruit so as not to be separated from Eve.
Ironically, they are immediately separated by their quarrel.