[Milton-L] RE: Samson's prayer for revengr

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Mon Feb 25 23:47:00 EST 2008


No, I don't think so. Except to note that, on your account, the catastrophe
of _SA_ gives us ambiguity within ambiguity. Same point (no point), twice.
In other words, the upshot of your account would be that Milton really
doesn't care whether his Samson prayed. A sensible attitude, since his
Samson doesn't exist, except as M's own intentional construct. So we are
saying that M's intentions are unclear to himself. Not much to look into
there. JDF

On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 19:05:26 -0500 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> Don't we need to make a distinction between Satan's deliberate verbal
> ambiguity in PL and Milton's deliberate narrative ambiguity in SA?  In
> the former case it's clear that Satan clearly does not want to
> disclose himself -- the point is deception.  In the latter case, isn't
> it possible that Milton himself didn't know if -his- Samson was really
> praying?
> 
> Jim R
> 
> On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 6:56 PM,  <jfleming at sfu.ca> wrote:
> > But the point, for Puttenham and for Milton's Christ, is that
> ambiguity is a
> >  bad thing (rather than being a valuable aesthetic arrangement, as
> it is for
> >  Empson, Brooks et al). It indicates that there is no point
> attending to the
> >  utterance, or part of an utterance, where it appears. Transferred
> to _SA_,
> >  the inference would seem to be, not that ambiguity is not present,
> but that
> >  there is no point inquiring much into it. Ambiguity says "I'm here;
look
> >  elsewhere." JD Fleming
> >
> >
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James Dougal Fleming
Department of English
Simon Fraser University
(778)-782-4713
cell: 778-865-0926


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