Milton’s“Paradise Lost” and Ralph Hodgson’s “Eve” Analysis

Milton’s“Paradise Lost” and Hodgson’s “Eve” use different literaryqualities such as epic and lyric to convey and reveal differentimages of the mentioned woman. To begin with, Milton’s “ParadiseLost” is an epic poem. It is characterized by long narrative thatfollows the traditions of Homer, which is written in 12 or 24 books.All epic poems encompass cultural vision, which has a huge scopeexploring all the aspects of a specific civilization moment. Milton’spoint of view began by focusing on the use of two aspects in thepoem: poetic literary forms and handling of the poetic story.Milton’s fellow poet, Hodgson (109) argue that the poet’slanguage is employed artificially so that it creates an impressiveimaginative sound. From the critic argument, there are two stylisticdevices that stand out the syntax and the language used areexcessively Latinized.

Theway Milton used his literary devices, he made it look so obvious byusing words that confuses the reader, since they are eitherunfamiliar or has a primary meaning he never intended. For example,in his famous example, Milton manages to use the word “manuring”in his epic poem to create the image of a woman Eve, to refer her as“manual work” (Milton, 540). Milton became obvious to apossibility that his readers with attach this word to a more obviousword to heighten the readers imagination of the woman Eve, spreadingfertilizer on the Garden of Eden. In Milton’s “Paradise Lost”,Eve is thrice removed from the female perspective. The use ofliterary forms such as symbolism and allegory triggers a sense ofsubtle subversion of female gender. The subtle use of poetic use ofimagery and language on the “Paradise Lost” Eve reveals hermasculine self-image. The kind of a woman Milton presents in the poemwill be embedded at certain times. The poet used Eve’s beauty,which is her extreme trait, and transforms it into a form of aweapon, which “shoots darts of desire” (Milton, 110).

Onthe other hand, Hodgson’s poem “Eve” presents the first womanas not only merely naïve but also stupid. This is evident in one ofthe lines in the poem: “the fall is no more than a loss for her, ofsweet plums and berries”. Hodgson noted of “a sigh below the figtree, and a deflating sky of the serpent’s damaged hiss”, andlater, “tree of life belong to us….I chose death” (Hodgson,87). In this case, Hodgson fostered widest array of interpretation inhis poem “Eve” by pointing out his weaknesses, origin of humanevil, and inferiority.

Forexample, Hodgson describes Eve’s susceptibility to that of thesnake’s in the poem as gullible and simple. “Oh, our simple Eve,seen from the make-believe, had she known but pretender he was”.According to Milton (560), it is important to bear in mind thatHodgson’s use of literary form to describe Eve, was at the timewhen the society had a different view of women. Therefore, in supportof Hodgson, he simply echoed the portrayal of women in contemporarysociety. In conclusion, the approach that is built by Eve through thepoets in both poems “Paradise Lost” and “Eve” is that shedepicts herself as an independent woman of both God and Adam.However, both poets present the woman in the poems Eve, to exhibitsfew similar traits for example, she is a woman whose advantageoustraits are ignored while at the same time her flaws are magnifiedwhile in real sense, she is very vital in both the poems.

Thereare a number of forms and devices that implicitly impact on themessage targeted by the two poems. First, the woman in Milton’s“Paradise lost” is literary made to disappear in such of thelanguage used to illustrate different meanings of the poems. Miltonchallenges here a single element of myth which he uses to separatesexuality from logical thoughts. While Adam is abstracted, the womanin the poem uses language as a form and logic, possibly for humanrace future. For example, the poem talks about Lucifer with anepitaph used at the beginning “How art fallen”. The speaker ispossibly mourning his absence and the use of “solitary brother”could mean the creation of a garden. Eve’s use of the persona “I”in Milton’s “Paradise Lost” emphasizes the connection, while itblocks connection and denies separation of divinity, humanity, andnature. From this, the use of the persona triggers a number of issuesbut at the same time pushes the idea of feminist feature in the poem,especially attitude towards non-human nature. The use of allegory,symbolism, and imagery approach to the woman in the poem pushes forthe building of a legend, but at the same time is independent of bothGod and Adam the poem aims at revealing a woman with formidablepower (Milton, 572).

Hodgsonon the other hand uses the literary devices to collect imagery ofheight, sacred space, and the mysterious anonymity through which hemanaged to lead his readers. He succeeded to create a mystery aroundhis literary and poetic works. He created positive ideology but withauthorizing sorrow in “picture her crying, outside in the lane”.From the previous and the next lines, he created a connection withpowerful authorizing strategies that contained loss of expression andthe presence of feminine muses and prophetic inner visions emblems(Hodgson, 23). Lamentation Hodgson brings in “Eve” is strikingsince it creates echoes with other grievances of invocations.


Hodgson,Ralph, and Claud L. Fraser. Eve, and Other Poems. London: FlyingFame, 1913. Print.

Milton,John, and Rosemary Syfret. Paradise Lost. Book 9. London: Macmillan,1972, 532-895Print.

Milton,John, and Gordon Teskey. Paradise Lost: Authoritative Text, Sourcesand Backgrounds, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005. Print.