[Milton-L] Milton's deliberate ambiguities

Hugh M. RICHMOND hmr at berkeley.edu
Fri Sep 1 20:32:40 EDT 2017

Shakespeare is ambiguous? What is ambiguous about these lines?

Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,

That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,

How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,

Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you

>From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en

Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp,

Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel. (III.iv.19–34)

If this is not ambiguous does it prove it bad poetry, or poor thought?

Ambiguity and irony may be signs of impotence. HMR
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