In the final lecture of the course, the analysis of Samson Agonistes comes to a conclusion with an exploration of the poem's sexual imagery. Milton's choice of subject matter is puzzled over, as are the ethics of his tragic hero, particularly when compared to the heroes of Milton's previous epics. The poem is positioned as a means by which Milton ultimately resolves the poetic, religious, and career-related crises of his earlier poem, "The Passion," and the compelling relationship between the corpus and the poet's biography is revisited one final time.
A study of Milton's poetry, with some attention to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry.
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