Adam and Eve – Short Essay
At first glance this fresco does not look very dramatic. Adam and Eve are tempted and make the mistake that costs them Eden. However, we need to think of what exactly was lost. In Catholic theology, the time before the fall was also a time of peace, happiness, without sickness or even death. God created man in God’s own image (Gen. 1:27). We clearly suffer now; we are prone to illness; we age; we die. The God of goodness did not create us to exist in this state, so how could it happen? We did it to ourselves. On one side of the image, there is a richer green.
There are the leaves of the tree. On the other side, the land is flat, barren, more like a savanna. Eve is reclining on the Eden side, to indicate the rest and the lack of any need that was present in paradise. On the other side, both are walking, to signify their lack of rest or ease. They are both cowering down and look to have aged a great deal. Before the fall, notice how Eve looks healthy, beautiful and intelligent. Contrast how she looks after she is expelled from Eden, aging, unwell, and frightened. Her arms cover her breasts out deep emotion, and perhaps shame.
On the side before the fall, Adam looks young and fit. Adam would not age until the fall; it is a consequence of original sin. Also, notice how the angel doesn’t just threaten with the sword. Adam cannot go back, not with the angel’s sword on the back of his neck. There is deadly purpose here. Adam’s hands appear to be warding off the angel, surrendering, saying that he is going. I would consider the Bible a complex network of myths, very few of the stories in the Bible can be scientifically proven and the book itself is very complex and the stories are very intricate as if they were imaginary.
The Bible if probably one of the most if not the most culturally important book in the world. This story in particular, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden conveys political and moral values of our culture; the loss of grace through original sin and its consequence. The invention of superhuman entities is clearly visible in this fresco; the serpent and the angel are both superhuman. The Bible is also filled with rituals, ceremonies, and dramas. The expulsion from the Garden of Eden is most definitely a drama.