John Milton – “Paradise Lost” Book 8 (ctd.)

Adam, unsurprisingly, feels lonely and asks God for a companion so that he can have somebody with whom he could share his adoration of God. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t know by what name to call God, because his power of giving names to animals does not extend to God, who by definition evades human understanding and can be understood only as far as he himself allows to be known. God tells Adam he has all these animals to play with, but Adam says they are not his equals, and they also come in pairs for a purpose: a lion can be mates with a lioness but not an ape. “Well then, how do you think I feel as a monotheistic God, all alone?”, asks God. Adam answers that of course as God he is perfect and does not need a companion, and besides can always choose to raise any being below him to his level, but that’s not the case with Adam and animals. “OK, I was just teasing you”, says God. “I was waiting for you to reason for yourself that you need a mate and you are going to get a really wonderful one.”

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