David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The European Legacy 17 (2):197 - 211 (2012)
In his preface to Samson Agonistes, Milton cites ?the ancients? and especially Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as his models in a tragedy ?after the Greek manner.? In this preface, Milton interprets Aristotelian catharsis in medical terms as a restoration of balance or ?just measure.? The final lines of Samson Agonistes, beginning with the words ?All is best,? are an attempt at closure, suggesting that the storms of passion should give way to a healthy, serene calmness. But the mass slaughter near the end of the poem makes these closing moments deeply disturbing and problematical. Unlike the heroes of Sophocles? Oedipus at Colonus and Philoctetes, and unlike the Samson of the Book of Judges, Milton's Samson is presented throughout the poem as a free moral agent. Rather than being the plaything of a remote and cruel deity, Milton's Samson accepts his responsibility for his own downfall. His conviction that he is God's ?nurseling,? set aside from early childhood as ?a person separate to God, / Designed for great exploits,? that he has failed in his responsibilities and has been brought low by his own weaknesses is consistent with Milton's sometimes heterodox theology as set forth in De Doctrina Christiana. At the heart of Milton's tragedy is the paradox of tragic freedom, the hidden presence of a deity, who with divine foreknowledge, allows his creatures freedom on the condition that, if they fail to obey his exacting demands, they must bear the terrible consequences
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ian T. E. Boyd (1996). The Problem of Self-Destroying Sin in John Milton's Samson Agonistes. Faith and Philosophy 13 (4):487-507.
Feisal G. Mohamed (2011). Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism. Stanford University Press.
F. R. Earp (1938). W. R. Parker: Milton's Debt to Greek Tragedy in Samson Agonistes. Pp. Xvi + 260. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press (London: Milford), 1937. Cloth, 11s. 6d. [REVIEW] The Classical Review 52 (01):38-.
Sanford Budick (2010). Kant and Milton. Harvard University Press.
Cedric C. Brown (2012). Europe Comes to Mr Milton's Door, and Other Kinds of Visitation. The European Legacy 17 (3):291 - 307.
Sister Margaret Teresa (1950). Milton's Samson and the Christian Tradition. Thought 25 (1):137-139.
Elif Çirakman (2007). Heidegger's Concept of Human Freedom. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 11:41-47.
Samson Abramsky (2012). Big Toy Models. Synthese 186 (3):697-718.
Daniel Greenspan (2008). The Passion of Infinity: Kierkegaard, Aristotle, and the Rebirth of Tragedy. Walter De Gruyter.
Otto Pfleiderer (1907). On the Samson Story. The Monist 17 (4):626-627.
Margaret Olofson Thickstun (2007). Milton's Paradise Lost: Moral Education. Palgrave Macmillan.
Paul Carus (1907). Mythical Elements in the Samson Story. The Monist 17 (1):33-83.
Eleonore Stump (2008). Samson and Self-Destroying Evil. In Charles Harry Manekin & Robert Eisen (eds.), Philosophers and the Jewish Bible. University Press of Maryland.
Warren Chernaik (2012). Areopagitica: 'The Known Rules of Antient Libertie'. The European Legacy 17 (3):317 - 331.
Added to index2012-03-09
Total downloads2 ( #330,937 of 1,096,570 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #258,571 of 1,096,570 )
How can I increase my downloads?