[Milton-L] Samson as a private person?

JD Fleming jfleming at sfu.ca
Mon Aug 16 18:41:59 EDT 2010

Both: a private person publicly committed, uniquely praiseworthy as such. Isomorphic with M's own self-presentation in the Defenses, and with the Jesus whose "mother's house private" is the necessary starting-point for his ministry. Antipathetic to the Satan who is in his own private hell wherever he goes; and, for that matter, to the defeated and blinded Samson at the beginning of the play. His triumph is, in the end, to go public all over again. To perform himself.

JD Fleming

----- Original Message -----
From: "Charles Carroll" <charles at literatureinreview.com>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 3:12:50 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: [Milton-L] Samson as a private person?

Does anyone have a good gloss for this passage: 

But I a private person, whom my Countrey 
As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum’d 
Single Rebellion and did Hostile Acts. 
I was no private but a person rais’d 
With strength sufficient and command from Heav’n 
To free my Countrey; 

The passage seems in a way contradictory. Does Samson here regard himself as a private person, or not? 

Any help would be much appreciated. 



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James Dougal Fleming
Associate Professor
Department of English
Simon Fraser University

"to see what is questionable"

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