restricted access Weak Milton

This article claims that in “On Shakespear” and “Lycidas” Milton considers weakness as the aesthetic and ethical foundation for his poetic vocation. After losing his sight, Milton identified with St. Paul’s adage: strength made perfect in weakness. Yet Milton’s experimentations with his own weak calling in the face of loss both precede his blindness and exceed the Pauline motto. Theorizing weakness as both technique and theme, I show the importance of Milton’s interest in insurmountable incapacity to understanding his poetics and his modes of self-representation.