Eves apology in defense of wom
In one of Aemilia Lanyer's poems, "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women," a reinterpretation of the past has been presented as a means to demand a better present, and future, for women. Though Lanyer lived when the world frowned upon women writers, she managed to be "one of the few published woman poets of the Renaissance" (p 1059). This fact of such a great accomplishment for a woman in the world did not, however, changes the forms in which it was acceptable for a woman to write. Therefore, because Lanyer was limited to write in the form of a journal, letter or devotation, her cry for sexual equality needed to be disguised in one of these forms. Thus, as a devotation to God, Aemilia Lanyer pushed her work to new heights within a feminist point of view. To accomplish this push, while staying within the accepted forms of women's writing, Lanyer discusses a few important biblical events. The earliest of said events being the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God. Another of Lanyer's topics is the sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate. Also while speaking on Pilate, Lanyer mentions Saul, who sought the death of David, however briefly. Aemilia Lanyer has provided a very strong argument, within the confines of her society, for the reasons why women deserve and have earned the right to equality with men.
Amongst Aemilia Lanyer's arguments towards equality, she includes the fall of Adam and Eve from the grace of God. It is Lanyer's belief that the blame should not have landed solely upon Eve's shoulders for this fall, but instead Adam should be held most responsible. Lanyer claims: "But surely Adam cannot be excused" (p 1060 ln 33). However, Lanyer has been open-minded enough to acknowledge Eve's guilt as well when she says: "Her (Eve's) fault though great," (p 1060 ln 34). Regardless of Lanyer's admission to Eve's share of the guilt, she continues this thought by stating: "yet he (Adam) was most to blame" (p 1060 ln 34). To support her blame of Adam for such tremendous faults, Lanyer makes certain that her readers understand the reasons why Eve is innocent. According to Lanyer, Eve cannot be held accountable because, firstly, she was naive. She was naive enough to allow herself to be persuaded by the serpent to taste the forbidden fruit. Eve "had no power to see/ the after-coming harm" (p 1060 ln 21-2). Lanyer shows that Eve was merely performing her submissive duty towards Adam, by sharing all that she had. She puts forth this idea by saying: "Giving Adam what she held most dear/ was simply good" (p 1060 ln 20-1). Therefore, according to Lanyer, Eve's flaw was that she loved Adam enough to be subjective to his power over her and all things. Eve, Lanyer says, "whose fault was only too much love/ which made her give this present to her dear" (p 1060 ln 57-8) is innocent. It was within Adam's power to resist Eve's forbidden apple, while she could not; "What weakness (Eve) offered, strength (Adam) might have refused" (p 1060 ln 36). By Lanyer's claims, Adam should have known better than to eat the apple because unlike Eve, it was Adam that "from God's mouth received that strait command" (p 1060 ln 43). Lastly, and most importantly, Lanyer states that "if any evil did in her remain,/ Being made of him, he was the ground of all" (p 1061 ln 65-6). Meaning that any evil and fault that was in Eve originated from Adam, as she had come herself from him, the "ground of all" (p 1060 ln 66). Therefore, the evil which is actually Adam's releases women of the blame for the fall from grace.
The sentencing and crucifixion of Christ by Pilate is another of Lanyer's main topics. Throughout "Eve's Apology in Defense of Women" she pleads with Pilate to follow his heart about Jesus' faultlessness. She cries "don not in innocent blood inbrue thy hands" (p 1059 ln 6). Continually Eve's mistake, that of a naive, simple woman is compared with the great evil that Pilate is about to make as he refuses