In Christianity and Literature 69, no. 3 (2020)

Elizabeth Barrett’s 1844 lyric-drama “A Drama of Exile”—typically interpreted as a poem about Adam and Eve in their first condition after the Fall—is more broadly a poem about the parallel movement of all members of creation from innocence to lament to aggression to grace. In the poem, Barrett examines four possible paradigms for the postlapsarian relationship among members of creation: the human dominion model, advocated by Adam; the human subjection model, advocated by Eve; the Earth dominion model, advocated by Earth spirits; and the model of mutual blessing, advocated by Christ. Though it remains problematic in some of its assertions, this last model aligns with a Christology that holds that the natural world deserves justice and participates with humanity in cosmological hope and renewal.

Publication Information


Dr. Karen Dieleman

Publisher or Title:

Christianity and Literature

Publication date: