22 Pages


This chapter presents Eve's beauty, Milton Parker accordingly shifts her mythic identification: springtime and the flowers that cluster around Eve through her alignment with Flora and Proserpina are subsumed within an exalted configuration as, with a further adjustment of focus, she assumes the role of the graceful goddess of beauty and love, Venus herself. Eve is explicitly compared with the goddess of beauty and love in two passages that frame her encounter with the couple's heavenly guest Raphael. Raphael differentiates earthly from heavenly love, but acknowledges its role as a means to that end, while Adam defends the mystery of human love as different in kind from the act of copulation 'common to all kindes'. In Ovid's poem, metamorphosis undermines the existence of secure and stable boundaries between life and death and between divine, human, animal and even inanimate existence.