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Synopsis

Milton's Ovidian Eve presents a fresh and thorough exploration of the classical allusions central to understanding Paradise Lost and to understanding Eve, one of Milton's most complex characters. Mandy Green demonstrates how Milton appropriates narrative structures, verbal echoes, and literary strategies from the Metamorphoses to create a subtle and evolving portrait of Eve. Each chapter examines a different aspect of Eve's mythological figurations. Green traces Eve's development through multiple critical lenses, influenced by theological, ecocritical, and feminist readings. Her analysis is gracefully situated between existing Milton scholarship and close textual readings, and is supported by learned references to seventeenth-century writing about women, the allegorical tradition of Ovidian commentary, hexameral literature, theological contexts and biblical iconography. This detailed scholarly treatment of Eve simultaneously illuminates our understanding of the character, establishes Milton's reading of Ovid as central to his poetic success, and provides a candid synthesis and reconciliation of earlier interpretations.

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