Eve’s Apology Summary

Aemilia Lanyer was a poet and the first published English woman author who came from a middle class family (though her father was considered as part of an old gentry-class group) Aemilia Lanyer used this poem as a way to show her interpretation of Eve’s role in the “Fall. ” Aemilia Lanyer’s poem “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women” defends Eve and women in general. Aemilia Lanyer’s work demonstrates how colonial powers were not passing on knowledge through education, but rather spreading it.

The poem was written sometime between 1614 to 1616; Aemilia Lanyer did not make any direct reference to certain characters or events that took place after the Fall of Adam and Eve, so Aemilia Lanyer’s intent is unknown. Aemilia Lanyer does however state that she wrote this poem because of what she believed was an “epidemic” among men who believed women are inferior to men due to Eve’s actions. Aemilia Lanyer, being a woman with an education, was offended by this idea of Eve being deemed as the one who brought sin into the world and women with her.

Aemilia Lanyer states that Adam was not blameless in the fall either because he too tempted Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge with him. Aemilia Lanyer also states that if women are truly seen as sinful beings then it would be fitting for men to burn them at stakes just like they burned witches during Aemilia Lanyer’s time period. A common theme Aemilia uses throughout her poem is Aemilia’s explanation of how she is not afraid to speak up against what she believes in.

Aemilia explains that her beliefs are what set her apart from Eve and how Aemilia is not going to apologize for being a woman who has thoughts of her own because Aemilia does not believe Eve should have had to apologize either. Aemilia Lanyer also makes several references as to how Eve was used as an example as being the one who tempted Adam, yet Aemilia reminds the reader that it was actually Adam whom first became curious about the tree by naming all the animals and then finally deciding to eat from the Tree of Knowledge after seeing his wife do so first.

At one point Aemilia even goes as far as explaining how she believes Eve’s actions could have misinterpreted due to Aemilia’s belief that Eve was around Adam’s age when they first became married. Aemilia explains how if Aemilia put herself in Eve’s shoes Aemilia would have possibly had the same temptation as Eve because Aemilia would not want to live a life of such boredom and monotony without ever knowing what else was out there. Aemilia Lanyer also alludes to the idea of incest because Aemilia states, “Might it be better done, As I my selfe have done, Unto your brother [… ]? Aemilia is suggesting that perhaps their parents will learn from their own mistakes instead of passing them down or inflicting them on others.

This could be due to seeing this as a self-defeating concept Aemilia Lanyer is trying to point out. Aemilia uses the poem as a way to express Aemilia’s ideas of life and religion from Aemilia’s own experiences she has been through. Aemilia was influenced by Shakespeare and had Amelia been illiterate this poem may not have seemed as possible for Aemilia Lanyer to write because Aemilia’s concept of Eve having her own voice would be void if Aemilia could not read or write herself.

A common theme throughout Aemilia’s poem that can be considered Eve apologizing for her actions, but then later turning into Eve defending herself against the false accusations that men created against her. Aemilia’s poem is Aemilia’s way of justifying Eve’s actions and explaining that she was not aware that it would lead to something like the Fall of Adam and Eve because this was Aemilia Lanyer’s first time hearing about this story. Aemilia Lanyer believed that history has twisted the meaning behind Eve’s actions which created the false idea that all women are evil or influenced by Satan which Aemilia believes is absurd.

Amelia believes Eve did not do anything wrong, but rather Amelia believes women should be able to make their own decisions for themselves instead of depending on men to make them for them because Aemiia believes it takes away a woman’s sense of empowerment Aemilia Lanyer also explains to Aemilia audience that Aemilia wants them to understand that Eve was not a pawn used by Satan or God, but rather Aemilia believes Eve was a woman who had her own voice and ability to make decisions for herself.

Aemilia wants the reader to understand that there is more to this story than what history has told everyone and Aemilia would like Aemilia readers to read between the lines and take away insight from Aemilia poem so they can truly understand what Aemiia means when she discusses these issues.

Aemilia Lanyer is the writer of this poem and Aemilia was a women who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries and Aemilia did not like how men treated women. Aemilia also did not like that men were always so set on knowledge more than women. Aemilia wrote poems to get her thoughts out there on what she thought on women’s rights. Aemilia saw Eve as more powerful than Adam but it seems backwards because Eve has been told since she was young “men are created stronger, wiser, wiser and for you to be under them” (Lanyer).

The quote above shows that even back then Aemilie felt that men had more than women and Aemilie seems to often point out women wrongdoings but Aemilia doesn’t always seem to blame Eve for the reason of why Adam is bread. Aemilia feels as if they are both at fault. Aemilia writes “But men our failings do correct and use/ Violently to press us unto vice/ Yet God doth charge them not for it, but say / That their abuses show our defects” (Lanyer). Aemilia gets her feelings across by having two different sides come together. She first blames men for trying to make women feel bad about themselves.

Aemilie then brings in that Eve isn’t all innocent either because even back then she was told too Adam around like he is better than her. Aemilie brings the two together by saying that even if men do try to make women feel bad about themselves it’s not entirely Eve’s fault because Aemilie thinks she should know better and Aemi blames men for trying to make women look like they are at fault in these situations when in Aemilia’s opinion, she believes it’s both Adam and Eve when speaking of who is at fault. Aemilia tries to get the point across when speaking of both sides by saying things like “We can but suffer with patience what God sends/ And patiently endure tyranny” (Lanyer).

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