"Sighing Through All Her Works Gave Signs Of Woe, That All Was Lost"

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Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 199

Context: Evicted from Heaven for revolting against God, Satan and the other fallen angels meet in council in Hell to determine a course of revenge. Satan decides to go to the newly created Earth; there, assuming the form of a serpent, he gains audience with Eve. Eve, astonished that a serpent can speak, is told that he has gained this ability by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Though forbidden by God on penalty of death to eat the fruit, and forewarned by the angel Raphael that Satan will attempt to cause her fall, Eve, seeing that the serpent has not been harmed by eating the forbidden fruit, decides to eat of the Tree of Knowledge:

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So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck'd, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,
That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk
The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve
Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else
Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,
In fruit she never tasted, whether true
Or fansied so, through expectation high
Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.

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