We cannot enter the Garden of Eden in Book IV of Paradise Lost and look upon the "mysterious parts" of the innocent Adam and Eve or upon Eve's ''wanton ringlets" in a spirit of complete simplicity and purity: not only do we observe with the fallen Satan as our companion, but our perceptions, including those of the poet himself, are subject to the complex connotations and associations which characterize our use of language. To some, "words alone are certain good," but not to the epic's narrator, who, as if acknowledging the hopelessness of painting a credible verbal...
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