[Milton-L] Samson Agonistes performed Oct 14th in NYC

Butler, Todd Wayne butlert at wsu.edu
Thu Oct 17 12:59:24 EDT 2013

As an aside, I've found that "casting" not only plays but also poems can be a very useful tool for starting conversations in the classroom. It's especially helpful in getting students who otherwise feel intimated by the text to join in, and to recognize that they actually understand more of the text than they think they do (or can easily articulate). That's especially true if you can suggest recognizable alternatives for students to choose among.

To be sure, you can't do this for 30 minutes-maybe five-but the exercise lends itself quite well to getting directly to the text. You say Keanu Reeves shouldn't "play" Red Crosse Knight-ok, why? What exactly do you see in the text that signals something about the character? What sort of interpretative choices are you making when you assign roles?

Todd Butler
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of English
Washington State University
(509) 335-2639 office
(509) 335-2582 fax

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Kemmer Anderson
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:11 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Samson Agonistes performed Oct 14th in NYC

Carter I like the James Earl Jones cast because the subtext of the American slave narratives seemed to have a slave named Samson. Peter Jefferson had a slave named Samson working on building a mill at Shadwell. The image would play well but the operatic voices and setting would reshape Milton's words. I was wondering coming down the mountain today if Handel's Samson was enacted in America at NY or Williamsburg....Kemmer Anderson

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