Overall both readings were interesting but my favorite one is “Eve’s Apology in Defense of women,” I think it was just easy to understand and to see a women’s perspective.
Milton uses the story of the “Fallen” to portray a form of false god and to show how they were before they become fallen angels and infected human kind. He takes the muse and reinvents it from a Christian perspective. For example when he names the devils in Hell and shows which cults worshipped them. He is giving an importance to forgotten stories since in the bible they do not speak of all fallen angels just one which becomes Satan. By using the story of the fallen, he is portraying that they are other Satan’s and making himself the authority.
The serpent tempts even into eating the forbidden fruit by telling her that because he ate the fruit he can now speaks and has gain some intellect. Even though Eve is hesitant at first to eat the fruit, the serpent assures her that God wants her to prove her independence. Even though she thinks that eating the fruit would mean death, she sees the serpent alive and she thinks the warnings are being exaggerated. The reason the serpent temps Eve is to portray women as weak since she allowed the serpent to convince her by compliments. Which shows that she cares about her physical appearance more than God’s commands. I also saw it as between two sides, which would be God and Satan and how she cannot be with both but only chose one.
I think Lanyer is arguing the roles of women and men and the differences between them. She uses irony in order to portray that man and women should be equal. For example when she uses the story of Adam and Even, she portrays an old idea that men and stronger than women and superior to women. Therefore if women are “weak” then it is mankind’s fault for the fall of humankind because it should have been expected for a woman to be weak or fall into temptation. “What weakness offered, strength might have refused, Being lord of all, the greater was his shame For he was lord and king of all the earth, Before poor Eve had either life or breath” (35-36, 39-40.) This statement is ironic since throughout the poem she does not believe that women and weak and later goes on to wonder why women have to put up with the blame and being responsible for the falling of mankind.
Both readings speak about religion and use biblical stories such as Adam and Eve. Although Lanyer uses that to question the blame between women and men, and that they should be equal. Milton uses religion in order to focus on Satan and corruption.