Michael Bryson; Arpi Movsesian

Published On


Page Range

pp. 467-500

Print Length

33 pages

10. Paradise Lost: Love in Eden, and the Critics who Obey

This chapter analyses Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam and Milton’s Paradise Lost in terms of each work’s presentation of disobedience as a deliberate (and arguably heroic) choice of love rather than obedience to authority. Cary’s Salome flouts the divorce laws and gender restrictions of her time to divorce her husband and choose another, while Milton's Adam and Eve serve as the ultimate example of fin’amor (for better and for worse) by choosing each other over the God (and Law) of the universe. The chapter engages with a great deal of criticism that suggests that Cary’s Mariam and Salome and Milton’s Adam and Eve should have chosen otherwise than they do, that they should have denied the desires of their hearts in favor of obedience to the demands of authority (husbands, kings, and God).


Arpi Movsesian