No one completely understands the ways of God. Many of us can come up with our own opinions, and justify his ways in our own minds, just as Milton did in Paradise Lost. Just as Adam and Eve, we all are gifted with free will and the responsibility of making important decisions and choices in our life, which will determine our future. But we may well ask ourselves today, of what use would this free will be to us if we did not know good from evil? When Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden she had two different voices telling her what to do. God had said that Adam and Eve may eat any fruit from any of the trees in the Garden of Eden except for the tree that contains the knowledge of good and evil. Satan (disguised as a serpent) told Eve that she would not die from eating that fruit, that her eyes would be opened, knowing both good and evil. But at the time Eve made her decision, she did not have the knowledge of good and evil.
Eve did not know the serpent could be Satan incarnate, nor did she know that her desire to become a goddess would be a sin. The main reason Eve eats the apple is because she wants to become a Goddess. The serpent said that he was a beast and after eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil he became more human like. Eve was enticed by the words of the serpent who said that “If the fruit makes a serpent like a man, it should make men like gods.” (Line 710: “That ye should be as Gods, since I as man, Internal Man, is but proportion meet; I, of brute, human; ye, of human, Gods.)Other arguments that the serpent used to manipulate Eve included; 1,) You shall not die, look at me, I have touched and tasted and I have not died. 2,) Should man not be allowed a fruit that a beast has? 3,) How can God’s tree give knowledge out against his will, if he already knows all? Eve also states that by God forbidding the fruit he made it more desirable.
While contemplating whether or not to eat the fruit, Eve wonders, why the beast did not die after eating the fruit? Why should such intellectual food be reserved for beasts? But her main reason for eating their fruit is to acquire greater power, to become a “goddess”. She tells Adam that “it was a divine effect which will open our eyes and makes us Gods.” She tells Adam that the snake ate the fruit and nothing bad happened to it. Adam in return eats the fruit because he doesn’t believe that he could take living without her. (He also didn’t know if he could spare another rib for a second Eve.) God knew before warning Adam and Eve of the forbidden fruit that they would eat it anyway. By warning them of it, he only increased their desires. However, this may have been a necessary development in the creation of mankind.
After consuming the apple, Adam and Eve were banished from the sacred garden, and sent to the outside world. They had committed a sin against God, by not only disobeying his commandment, but by wanting to be gods themselves. They were banished from the garden not only as punishment, but also because God did not want them to eat of the tree of life, of immortality. They were not killed as God had originally threatened, but told to be fruitful and multiply. According to Milton, in the outside world Adam and Eve repented their sins to Jesus Christ who in turn asked God for forgiveness. God once again accepted them but stated that they would never again set foot in Paradise.
But by this grace, his creation was complete. God’s warning was definitely effective because he accomplished exactly his purpose: The creation of this magnificent world that we live in today, which was all started by God, Adam, and Eve. God didn’t give Adam and Eve a complete warning about the tree because he did not tell them that it was only by his judgment whether or not they would die or eat the fruit. So when the serpent ate the fruit and didn’t die, but began to speak like a man, they were more susceptible to his guile.