The Garden of Earthly Delights Characters

Martha Clarke

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Tree-Man, who appears during the opening measures of music, a man in a gray body suit who trudges slowly and stiffly to center stage, holding bare tree limbs overhead. He remains onstage, silently watching the unfolding scene between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He stalks offstage glumly at the end of the scene but reappears throughout the piece to survey the ensuing decadence and eventual desolation. Throughout the piece, his presence is ambiguous, but he seems to watch the events with the natural gaze of a choral commentator.


Adam and


Eve, the biblical characters, representing the first man and woman on Earth. Wearing skin-colored body suits, Adam and Eve perform a lyrical, gently danced duet in the first scene. Eve’s long hair, hanging straight to her waist, is choreographed into the dance sequence. Adam uses it to manipulate her movements by wrapping it around himself and pulling her from the floor by it. The dance follows the couple’s short-lived innocence in the Garden of Eden to their encounter with the serpent that ends their innocence and symbolically sends humanity from paradise. They are transformed into lumbering, awkward, bent-over animals as they slowly exit.

The Serpent

The Serpent, based on the serpent in the biblical creation myth. Wearing a white body suit and clutching an apple between her thighs, the serpent...

(The entire section is 484 words.)