Samson’s Cords: Imposing Oaths in Milton, Marvell, and Butler
In seventeenth-century Britain every debate about loyalty oaths invoked the biblical Samson. Samson’s Cords argues that these loyalty tests became an unprecedentedly pervasive feature of life in Restoration England and that writers of satire and epic had no choice but to respond.
Alex Garganigo examines the radically different responses of John Milton, Andrew Marvell, and Samuel Butler to the existential crises caused by this explosion of loyalty oaths. After early support, all three developed serious reservations, confronting the irony that while oaths often exclude and destroy, they also include and create. Tackling issues such as performance, ritual, religion, secularization, gender, swearing, republicanism, and citizenship, Garganigo offers original readings of Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland, The Rehearsal Transpros’d, and Hudibras.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 352 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
Author InformationAlex Garganigo is an associate professor in the Department of English at Austin College.
Table of contents
1. Samson’s Cords in Restoration England
2. Conjuring Oaths and Identities in Hudibras
3. Testing the Tests in The Rehearsal Transpros’d
4. An Horatian Oath: the Horatian Ode, Secularism, and Toleration
5. Samson’s Cords: Imposing Oaths in Eikonoklastes and Samson Agonistes
6. Paradise Lost I: God’s Swearing By Himself
7. Paradise Lost II: Of Apples, Oaths, and Women
A Proposal for Emending One of Marvell’s Letters
Subjects and Courses