Abstract

For a work that vindicates divorce, the strict preservation of religious and national purity, Nazarite separateness, and the massacre of the enemy, Samson Agonistes surprisingly also invites a reassessment of the apparently antithetical relationship between Hebrew and Philistine. This article first studies the significance of the exogamous marriage of Samson and Dalila in the context of Milton’s divorce tracts. It then analyzes the complementary legal arguments of the poem’s key characters, as well as their psychological and behavioral connections. These generate various interpretations of their sacrifices made in the name of pietas, a correlative of religious and national duty.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 179-196
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-04
Open Access
No
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