Précis: Satan's empty triumph

The first tale of mankind, viewed from the monotheism of the Old Testament and the Qur'an, depicts Adam's rise from the soil of the Earth and his exile from the Garden of Eden: Heaven on Earth. This is all thanks to Satan (also named Iblis in the Qur’an) who has been exiled from the true Heaven with God. From the viewpoint of one unfamiliar with the holy scripts, God’s respite of banishment towards Iblis’s wrongdoings in the Qur’an seems to be out of pride of his creation of Adam, whom Iblis refused to acknowledge as superior to himself. Yet the Lord is convinced of mankind’s innocence when his earthbound children repent to their own idiocy, illustrating a preference for his Earthly created beings. Thus, the fallen angel who provokes Eve into committing the “original sin” serves as Iblis’s triumph over God, but at the same time God’s willingness to undermine his own ideals of trust suggests a futility within Satan’s actions. Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale seems to reinforce the futility of the loss of innocence in Polixenes and Hermione’s dialogue. In this early scene of the play Polixenes tells of his childlike innocence when “[i]n those unflegd’d days was my wife a girl” (1.2.77) to which Hermione replies: “Of this make no conclusion, lest you say / Your queen and I are devils” (1.2.81-82). This playful manner of conversation between Kings and Queens of different kingdoms suggests that their interpretation of the original sin is the blossoming love between the two royal couples, which hardly seems to be a sinful act. Iblis remains triumphant over God in this facet, but it is an empty victory for the original sin becomes common nature among mankind.

Post by Chris Donaldson

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