In Book 10, I found it interesting how the Son was tasked with making his judgment equal parts Justice and Mercy. It seemed to me, especially given the magnitude of their Sin, that this was not an easy feat and one that ultimately was not accomplished by the Son; as I mentioned in a previous post, his judgment seemed far more punishment than mercy.
Even though I disagreed with that passage’s logic, I thought it lent itself to a lot of analysis and deep reading so I was fairly happy when I found that Michael is given a similarly excruciating task in kicking Adam and Eve out of Paradise. In general, I thought Michael did a much better job mixing hope and justice into his message.
One of the ways Michael makes his decree appear less daunting is by making the punishment about the collective human race rather than just about Adam and Eve. The phrase “Thy seed shall crush our foe,” puts sin and Satan in perspective – the war against them will not only be fought by the first couple, but by the future generations of mankind as well. This idea gives the couple purpose while also diluting the blame a little bit by bringing in the rest of mankind.
Michael also does a great job hinting at the potential for growth between Adam and Eve. Lines like “One bad act with many deeds well done,” sets the work ahead and Adam and Eve while promising absolution through arduous labor.