This brings us to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Milton emphasizes that the importance of the Tree lies less in the knowledge it brings than in its function as "The only sign of our obedience" (). Nevertheless, the Tree raises questions about the different types of knowledge that exist before and after the fall. When Adam and Eve eat the fruit, they lose the capacity to attain intuitive knowledge. Instead, according to Leonard, they "gain knowledge of the darkness into which creation falls when it is deprived of God's goodness" (xxxiii). Because they are more removed from God, they cannot learn in the same way they once did. When the angel Michael comes to earth to tell Adam about the future, he begins by giving him visions, but eventually must stop and narrate the rest because he perceives Adam's "mortal sight to faile" (). The fallen Adam has less access to an understanding of God and Heaven than the unfallen one, and Michael must be more careful than Raphael to relate his tale in an understandable way.


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