Is Eve actually inferior to Adam in Paradise Lost? Are Adam and Eve equal in terms of the hierarchy of Eden? If not, what makes Adam "superior"?

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This question is somewhat open to interpretation. Within the text of Paradise Lost, Eve does indeed seem to be inferior to Adam. Through a modern context, this is not a very agreeable idea, but Milton was writing in a different, more patriarchal time, and writing about Biblical stories that were transcribed in perhaps an even more patriarchal time. The character of Eve is supposed to be inferior to Adam in the Bible: she is created second, she is created from his rib bone, and she is the one who ultimately committed original sin. Milton stays grounded in the hierarchy of Eden as it is laid out in scripture.

Adam’s specific “superiority” over Eve is difficult to quantify. In the Bible, as well as Paradise Lost, man’s superiority over woman is taken for granted as part of the natural world. The reason it is difficult to quantify is because it is largely baseless, and nowadays many people know better. The character of Eve in Paradise Lost is submissive to Adam, and the moment when she falls in love with her reflection tethers her to the idea of vanity, which is later exploited by Satan.

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