Department of English

"Stuck in the Middle with Dalila"

An Odyssey Course event with John Rumrich

Thu, October 29, 2009 | Thompson Conference Center

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

The great eighteenth-century critic Samuel Johnson claimed that Milton’s Samson Agonistes is an artistic failure because it lacks a middle. He concludes by insulting readers who nevertheless approve of Milton’s final masterpiece: “this is the tragedy which ignorance has admired, and bigotry applauded.” We will look into the term “bigotry,” used here and elsewhere in critical responses to the tragedy, as a way to better understand the continuing, controversial relevance of a drama whose hero kills himself and thousands of his enemies by destroying a great, symbolic edifice.

Recommended reading
: John Milton, Samson Agonistes

JOHN RUMRICH is Arthur J. Thaman and Wilhelmina Dore Thaman Endowed Professor of English at the University of Texas. His recent publications include The Norton Critical Edition of Seventeenth-Century British Poetry and The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton.

For more information on Odyssey Courses or to register for a course, please visit the Odyssey website. 

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