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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Mandy Green

Green, Mandy (2005). The Virgin in the Garden: Milton's Ovidian Eve. Modern Language Review 100(4): 903-922.

Author(s) from Durham


Milton appropriates narrative structures from the Metamorphoses to amplify the elliptical account of Eve's creation in Genesis and to convey her sense of self or sexuality. Through the controlled use of such mythological patterning, Milton engages the reader in making complex responses to Eve. He deliberately fails to fix the meaning of such allusions, which thereby become a way of holding in solution unresolved, even contradictory, emphases in a situation where alternatives are not yet exclusive. In Paradise the apparently dissonant values of virginity and sexual love are held together in a harmony of exceptional grace and intensity, but Milton makes the reader aware that the threat of discord is always present.

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