Since the beginning of Paradise Lost, a reader can witness the dramatizing power possessed by Satan, and how he takes advantage of this very power in order to satisfy his own causes. One such property of Satan’s fantastic powers is his ability to manipulate any individual into a false belief of who he really is, and therefore prevent a habitant of paradise from discovering his true purpose that is hidden behind his actions. One such example of this, and one of the most major in the epic, are the events that occur in Book IX involving Satan and Eve around the forbidden tree. Here, Satan uses, what is to Eve, excellent reasoning to convince her to eat the forbidden fruit, thereby exploiting Eve’s weakness. These methods are very persuasive, and later lead to the downfall of Eve, Adam, and the future of mankind.
Before a reader may look upon the confrontation between Eve and Adam, we must look into the reasoning of Satan as he approaches his foes. Satan recognized that both Adam and Eve were not of equal superiority, and learning that Eve was born of Adam’s rib, quickly concluded that she was inferior to Adam, and easily the weakest religiously of the two. Since Eve was born from the body of Adam, she praises Adam as her own god, whereas Adam praises God as his. It is this reasoning that Satan was thankful, for upon entering Paradise in order to persuade the couple to commit the first sin; he hoped that he would encounter Eve alone, which would make it easier to benefit from her weakness and inferiority. As we learn, Satan is fortunate enough to have such and encounter, and successfully meets Eve alone (p. 246 lines 463-466):
That space the Evil One abstracted stood
From his own evil, and for the time remained
Stupidly good, of enmity disarmed,
Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge.
Even though her beauty momentarily stuns him and he, “for the time remained stupidly good,” his dedication to his ven...