Temporal Succession in Samson Agonistes

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How does Samson, who is portrayed in the opening of Milton's drama Samson Agonistes as a wretched prisoner, slaving away at the mill in Gaza with both his eyes put out, transform into an autonomous agent? This essay finds in the distinction between the A- and B-series of time, made by twentieth-century Cambridge philosopher J. M. E. McTaggart, a key to Milton's representation of the inner movement in his fallen biblical hero from despair to agency. For Milton, only an A-structured mind, which perceives time as temporal passage, may ultimately lead to regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-309
Number of pages12
JournalPhilosophy and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Johns Hopkins University Press.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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