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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines Samson Agonistes's anatomization of the liminal territory. It is claimed that this interface is manifested in the poem's quite remarkable attention to the array of sensory experience: it describes in vivid perceptual detail Samson's imaging of the dark prison of his blindness, Dalila's seductive fragrance, and the vulnerability and acuity of the acoustic organs, as Samson attempts to ‘fence’ his ears against Dalila's sorceries. Samson Agonistes is a drama that was never meant to be performed. It provides an analogous use of the passions, one that works through the explicit mediation of the senses, a cultivation of their imaginative or aesthetic effects for the purpose of producing ethical behaviour through art.

Keywords: Samson Agonistes, John Milton, anatomization, Dalila, sensible ethics, tragedy

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