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MILTON'S SAMSON AND THE FIGURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT GIANT

David Gay
Literature and Theology
Vol. 9, No. 4 (December 1995), pp. 355-369
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23926765
Page Count: 15
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MILTON'S SAMSON AND THE FIGURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT GIANT
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Abstract

The encounter between Harapha and Samson in Samson Agonistes evokes the theological questions concerning the giants of Genesis 6:4. Various patristic and Renaissance authorities develop opposing explanations of the origin of giants. Some exegetes argue that these giants were the offspring of fallen angels; others argue that they were the descendants of Seth, the third son of Adam. This conflict of interpretations raises larger questions concerning free will and divine providence. Milton uses these conflicting views of Old Testament giants to reaffirm the central premises of theodicy in the poem.

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