The Uncertain World of Samson Agonistes
Shawcross proposes that the many ambiguities surrounding Milton's dramatic poem Samson Agonistes are intentional: the actual words, the dates of composition, the genre, and the characters - particularly Samson and Dalila but including Manoa, Harapha, and the Chorus. Ambiguity also lies in Milton's presentation of political issues both philosophical and practical, his treatment of gender concepts, the constant questioning of the reader, and the poem's effect. Discussing all these elements, Shawcross follows with a detailed reading of the text which argues that it remains purposefully ambiguous, reflecting Milton's own recognition of the uncertainty of the content, and suggesting that Milton himself would question some of the nice 'solutions' that modern scholarship has offered in the last two decades. JOHN SHAWCROSS is Professor of English, Emeritus, University of Kentucky.
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achieve Adam Areopagitica argues argument attitude become belief Bible biblical blindness champion Chapter character Chorus Chorus's Christ concept contrast covenant critical Dagon Dalila episode Danites death deceit Delilah Deliverer divorce tracts English epic evil faith false gender God's hair Harapha hero hope human humankind husband interpretation irony Israel Israelites Jesus John John Milton Judges kind Knoppers lines Lord male Manoa marriage meaning metaphor metonym Milton Studies Milton's dramatic poem Milton's poem misogyny nation Nazarite offers Old Cause Paradise Lost Paradise Regain'd past perhaps person Philistines political prepoem present prosody Psalm question reader reading rejection renovation repentance Riley Parker rouzing motions Samson Agonistes Samson's action Satan seductress seems Semichorus sexual sincere sonnet Sonnet 18 strength succumbing suggests symbol temptation motif thee thir thou Timnah tragedy tragic true Truth Ulreich uncertainty University Press violence wife Wittreich Woman of Timnah words Yale Prose
John Milton, Radical Politics, and Biblical Republicanism
Walter S. H. Lim
Limited preview - 2006