Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
While Adam, Eve, Abel, Zillah, and Adah pray to God, Cain stands sullenly by and complains that he has nothing to pray for because he had lost immortality when Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge. He cannot understand why, if knowledge and life are good, his mother’s deed has been deemed a deadly sin. Abel, Adah, and Zillah urge him to cast off his melancholy and join them in tending the fields. Alone, Cain deplores his worldly toil. Tired of the repetitious replies to all his questions, replies that refuse to challenge God’s will, he is no longer sure that God is good.
At the conception of this thought, Lucifer appears to explain that Cain’s mortality is only a bodily limit. He will live forever even after death. Cain, driven by instinct to cling to life, at the same time despises it. Lucifer admits that he also is unhappy in spite of his immortality, which is a cursed thing in his fallen state. He launches into a bitter tirade against God, whom he describes as a tyrant sitting alone in his misery, creating new worlds because his eternity is otherwise expressionless and boring to him. Lucifer exults that his own condition is at least shared by others. These words echo Cain’s own beliefs about the universe. Long has he pitied his relatives for toiling so hard for sustenance, as God had decreed when he banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.
Lucifer confesses that the beguiling snake had not been a disguise for himself;...
(The entire section is 1126 words.)
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