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Paradise Lost Sex Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Book Number, Line Number

Quote #1

"Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing
Becam'st enamoured, and such joy thou took'st
With me in secret, that my womb conceived
A growing burden" (2.764-7)

Satan has sex with his daughter ("joy thou took'st/ With me in secret") in what is a gross parody not only of family in general, but also of the relationship between God and His Son (3.63). Moreover, Satan is, essentially, having sex with his own image, which suggests that he really only loves, or desires, himself. Narcissism anyone?

Quote #2

"I fled, but he pursued (though more, it seems,
Inflamed with lust than rage) and swifter far, Me overtook, his mother, all dismayed,
And in embraces forcible and foul
Engend'ring with me of that rape begot
These yelling monsters" (2.790-5)

Death is the product of Sin's relationship with Satan (her father), and he in turn has sex with his mother; actually, he rapes her because he is "inflamed with lust." Milton describes Adam's desire for Eve after the Fall in similar terms as here; thus Adam and Eve both "burn" in "lust" as a result of an "inflaming" desire. As evident here, this combination of words can lead to no good.

Quote #3

"nor turned I ween
Adam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the rites
Mysterious of connubial Love refused" (4.741-3)

Adam and Eve have sex, but notice how anything resembling lust or traditional desire seems absent. Adam doesn't "turn" away and Eve doesn't "refuse" the "rites/ Mysterious." The sex here almost sounds automatic, as if desire as we understand it either has no place in the pre-fallen world of Eden or, at the very least, has a different form.

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