Cover image for Gender and the Power of Relationship By Kristin A. Pruitt

Gender and the Power of Relationship

“United as one individual Soul” in Paradise Lost

Kristin A. Pruitt

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$60.00 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-8207-0340-4

196 pages
6" × 9"
2003

Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies

Gender and the Power of Relationship

“United as one individual Soul” in Paradise Lost

Kristin A. Pruitt

In this provocative study, Kristin A. Pruitt offers a close reading of pivotal passages and critical concerns in Paradise Lost and examines Milton’s presentation of Adam and Eve’s relationship through the intersections of theology and gender in the poem. By delving into several seventeenth century commentaries on Genesis, Pruitt examines the various depictions of Eve and presents Milton’s Eve and her relationship with Adam. In recent years, scholars have addressed the disparate, often contradictory positions on gender and hierarchy in Paradise Lost. However, Pruitt adds to the discussion another layer: that the dialectic in the poem the parallels and reversals in structure, imagery, action, and characterization offer a reading from multiple perspectives and means of understanding one of the poem’s principal messages, which is the dual emphases on individuality versus selfhood and relationship versus union as they illuminate the ideal of unity in diversity.

 

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In this provocative study, Kristin A. Pruitt offers a close reading of pivotal passages and critical concerns in Paradise Lost and examines Milton’s presentation of Adam and Eve’s relationship through the intersections of theology and gender in the poem. By delving into several seventeenth century commentaries on Genesis, Pruitt examines the various depictions of Eve and presents Milton’s Eve and her relationship with Adam. In recent years, scholars have addressed the disparate, often contradictory positions on gender and hierarchy in Paradise Lost. However, Pruitt adds to the discussion another layer: that the dialectic in the poem the parallels and reversals in structure, imagery, action, and characterization offer a reading from multiple perspectives and means of understanding one of the poem’s principal messages, which is the dual emphases on individuality versus selfhood and relationship versus union as they illuminate the ideal of unity in diversity.

Kristin A. Pruitt retired from her position as dean of the School of Arts and is professor emerita of English at Christian Brothers University in Memphis. Since 1991 she has codirected the biennial Conference on John Milton, the only conference in the United States devoted exclusively to Milton. With Charles W. Durham, she has coedited eight collections of essays on John Milton, two of which have won the Irene Samuel Award presented by the Milton Society of America for the most distinguished collection on John Milton published in 1997 and 2005.

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