[Milton-L] Sophocles and Samson: Despair

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 16 23:38:47 EST 2008


Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:
   
  "In other words he [Milton's Samson] was a really exact model for the 9/1l pilots who
sacrificed their lives for their country."
   
  Jeffery Hodges responds:
   
  Well, the hijackers weren't all from Saudi Arabia.
   
  Instead of "country," I'd suggest that the hijackers were motivated by an Islamist-inspired desire to spread a radical form of Islam down here on earth and to attain a sensual realm full of ravishing virgin houris up in paradise, so religion certainly played a role in their actions.
   
  But theirs was not just a religious act but even a ritualistic one, based on their manner of slaughtering passengers to gain access to the cockpit.
   
  On this point about 'sacred' ritual, see Hassan Mneimneh and Kanan Makiya, "Manual for a 'Raid,'" The New York Review of Books, Volume 49, Number 1, January 17, 2002.
   
  I'm therefore not sure that Samson would be an "exact model" for the 9/11 hijackers, but I'm no expert on Milton's Samson. Did Samson engage in any ritual before carrying out his destruction of the temple to whose pillars he was chained?
   
  Be that as it may, there is definitely a general analogy between Samson's actions and those of the 9/11 hijackers.
   
  Jeffery Hodges
  

Derek Wood wrote:
> 
> 
> 2. Samson does not despair. He is not in a state of sin. He has earlier gone through all the stages of regeneration as Milton explains them in the Doctrina; (in Adam we see these stages clearly realised: recognition of guilt, contrition, repentance etc) Samson does long for death, and calls for it repeatedly This is a lament as is Job's sorrowing cry. The lamentation is not sinful or despairing in either case..For despair see Redcrosse's experience in Faerie Queene Bk 1.

In other words he was a really exact model for the 9/1l pilots who
sacrificed their lives for their country.

Carrol

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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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