Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Louis Schwartz


I began my research intending to develop a coherent theory regarding the poolside scene in "Paradise Lost." Troubled by the recognition that Eve was created perfect and yet shows a disturbing tendency toward vanity, I began to probe possible interpretations for Milton's allusion to the Narcissus myth. I incorporated Satan and Adam as further exploration of narcissism, and the Father and Son as self-love recognized ideally. Working with the theories of Heinz Kohut, I concluded that certain aspects of the Son's role in the Christian faith are analogous to the role of the therapist in healing the narcissistically impaired individual, particularly with respect to the healing element of empathy. The gift of self-sacrifice allows post-lapsarian humanity to receive redemption from solipsism. From this research it becomes clear that religious faith and scientific theory are not mutually exclusive, but rather interdependent.