The Green Lady in C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra as a Rewrite of Eve in Paradise Lost
Ransom, a philologist, is sent to a planet called Perelandra by Maleldil, the planet creator, to the queen Tinidril, also known as the Green Lady. When Ransom asks Maleldil what is the purpose of his voyage, Maleldil tells him he’ll know when time is right.
When Ransom reaches Perelandra, he sees a green naked lady. Although she’s existed hundreds of years before him, she has a striking youth and beauty. When Ransom asks about her king, Tinidril answers that he’s lost somewhere on Perelandra. What surprises him is that she’s not tempted into desire due to the fact of her unfallen nature which has not known sin. This plays as a safeguard from the fallen Ransom. When they start talking, Tinidril seems to have overwhelming knowledge about her planet Perelandra but at the same time she could not understand Ransom. She couldn’t understand what peace, rubbish, alone, people are. He’s talking about things she couldn’t relate to. She says:
“People? I do not know what you are saying.” (60)
In her unfallen mind these things are incomprehensible. He tells her more about his fallen world and how things work there. When she talks to Ransom, she pauses, thinks, and then answers. She’s constantly asking for knowledge of his world. He tells her in his world things are not taken for granted. Logic is one thing, reality is another. She grows older as her knowledge grows. She asks Ransom whether he’s sent for her to teach her death or retrieve her king but he doesn’t know. She tells him in Perelandra there’s nothing unpleasant or unwelcome. Up to this point Tinidril has only lived by spontaneity. So Ransom asks her whether his coming was welcome and whether there was anything to prevent her to wish it was her lost king instead. He tells her:
“But even you, you first saw me, I know now you were expecting and hoping that I was the king. When you found I was not, your face changed. Was that event not...