The Fortunate Fall of Man
By Eddie Levit
In Paradise Lost, we see Satan’s fall from Heaven as an angel to Hell, for disobeying God. Satan knows that he won’t be able to return and out of vengeance he decides to defile God’s creation: man. Satan does so by temping Adam and Eve to sin by eating from the tree of knowledge, thus breaking God’s one commandment they had to follow. Although God had foreknowledge of Satan’s fraudulent intentions, he didn’t interfere since man had the choice to either have a union with God or not. There are individuals who propose the fall wasn’t fortunate since Adam and Eve were happy in Paradise and knew of God’s grace beforehand. However, the opposition overlook that God let man fall because he didn’t want to predetermine their fate and wanted to preserve free-will and reason. When god sacrificed his son to atone for man’s sins, it showed his benevolent nature. Through the salvation of his son, man would be allowed to enter Heaven by being a considerate Christian in life. Thus, this is not a punishment for the sake of Adam and Eve, but a happier alternative to the state of innocence they would’ve been subjected to had the fall not occurred.
It’s integral to understand that the fall would not have been fortunate had Satan not disobeyed God in the very beginning. When Satan fell, although God gave Satan free-will: “Here at least we shall be free; the Almighty hath not built here for his envy…” (Book I, 258-260), God knew that Satan would have internal struggles with himself and would want to befoul his creation of man: “Now conscience wakes despair that slumbered, wakes the bitter memory of what he was. Sometimes toward Eden, which now in his view, his grieved look he fixes sad, toward Heaven” (Book IV, 23-29). God allowed Satan to pass, because by man defying God, Satan’s fall would prove fortunate because when man was tempted by Satan to sin, he attained knowledge of evil, and with this knowledge, he would be able to discern right...