UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Three aspects of time : a structural analysis of Urn Burial, the Garden of Cyrus and Samson Agonistes Lewison, Joyce Rosalind 1974

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata


831-UBC_1974_A8 L49_7.pdf [ 4.33MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0093257.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0093257-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0093257-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0093257-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0093257-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0093257-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0093257-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

THREE ASPECTS OF TIME: A STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF URN BURIAL, THE GARDEN OF CYRUS A N D SAMSON AGONISTES by Joyce Rosalind Lewison B . A . , The University of British Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts in the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required' standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1974 In p resent ing t h i s thes is in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y sha l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission fo r ex tens ive copying o f t h i s thes is f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h is r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t hes i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be al lowed w i thout my w r i t t e n permiss ion . Department The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i i ABSTRACT Much of the melancholy of seventeenth-century English wr i t ing stems from obsessive concern with the swiftness of the passage of time and the equally swift approach of death. In Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus , Sir Thomas Browne demonstrates that the concern is unwarranted. Aware of man's wish to perpetuate the memory of himself, Browne exposes the vanity of a desire for fame as wel l as the more mundane desire to be remembered in a monument. In Urn Burial he faces death squarely and shows the essential emptiness of man's egocentric ideas. He explains in the closing chapter that happiness consists in l iv ing privately in innocence, dealing justly with others, and believing in "the sufficiency of Christian Immortality ^which] frustrates al l earthly g lo ry . " In The Garden of Cyrus, he presents another point of view wherein he shows that happiness can be discovered, regardless of creed, by becoming aware of the loveliness, grandeur and mystery of the universe, and assumes that all human beings can sense the sublime in nature. Therefore, he itemizes a variety of wonders in order to enhance man's appreciation of the mysterious force which creates and incessantly maintains order in the wor ld . The first essay treats of time in the linear sense through which man comprehends the movement of his own lifespan and the long perspective of history. The second essay deals with the perpetual present. This segment of t ime, which has more immediacy, is symbolized by the wedge in the Roman numeral V , f i ve . The Garden of Cyrus is founded upon the pattern of a quincunx, a series of f ive points disposed in the shape of a square or rectangle with the f i f th point in the centre. However, each essay has f ive chapters which together constitute a unit forming "the sacred Letter X" i i i which is also the Roman numeral for ten, a number denoting fullness or completion. Whereas Browne chooses to disclose his concepts of time in the form of abstract symbols, M i l t o n , in Samson Agonistes, indicates his concept of the time-element by dramatizing the bibl ical story of Samson and, through the exposure of a human being's thoughts and actions, shows that time is v i tal to man's understanding of the meaning of his existence. Like Adam in Paradise Lost, Samson represents mankind since, despite his superhuman strength, he is a frail mortal who lives in the darkness of human ignorance. In Mi l ton's interpretation of Judges 13-16, Samson's imprisonment in the mil l at Gaza is symbolic of the cage within which man tends to incarcerate himself, preferring the prison of mundane ignorance to the freedom of spiritual knowledge. And Samson's blindness symbolizes man's ignorance both of his motives for action and the nature of his connexion! wi th God. The tragedy is concerned with God's justice toward man. At the beginning of the drama, Samson questions the justice of God's acts, but, time passes during the course of the drama and, f i na l l y , the questions are answered. In Man is Not A lone, the religious philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel writes: "Philosophy begins with man's question: rel igion begins with God's question and man's answer." Samson understands that God has questioned him,and the hero, craving for communion with his spiritual father, replies by changing his attitude toward l i f e . Thereafter,in place of physical vision, God gives Samson insight which leads to his self-knowledge, to his release from the confines of the prison, and, paradoxical ly, to his freedom from the burden of l i fe itself. At the close of the drama, through the tragedy of his untimely death, Samson's human father, his Danite friends, and the audience, gain similar iv insight and begin to understand the mystery of God's justice. A deeply religious atmosphere and an essentially vertical structure inform both Mi l ton's tragedy and Browne's essays. Just as Browne derives much of his imagery from Scripture, so Mi l ton depends upon scriptural sources for the bulk of his drama. In his chapter "On Scriptural Interpretation" in The Seventeenth Century Background, Basil Wi l ley writes: "M i l ton bel ieved, wi th Browne. . . that in Scripture truth was often conveyed f igura t ive ly . " Both seventeenth-century authors are in search of t ruth, and both can be seen as theologians: Browne, the physician, expresses his understanding of God as he examines the amazing order he finds in the universe; M i l t on , the poet, expresses his understanding as he sings of the hidden wonders he finds in the mind of man. V CONTENTS Section Page Introduction 1 I The Symbolic Structure of Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus 5 II The Triangle of Time: Structure in Urn Burial 7 III The Seeds of Perception: Shape in The Garden of Cyrus 17 IV Man's Relationship with God: Vert ical Structure in Samson Agonistes 36 V Conclusion 74 Three Aspects of Time A structural analysis of Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus and Samson Agonistes "There's no clock in the forest," Orlando tells the disguised Rosalind in As You Like I t , and with this reply to her f l ippant question, " I pray you, what is't o ' c l o c k ? " , Shakespeare brings into the demi-paradise garden of Arden the haunting theme of Time and its concomitant Death. The preoccupation wi th time and mortal i ty in the Renaissance was, of course, nothing new, for its connexion with Genesis is clear, but that the theme of carpe diem was most imperative in this period of history is apparent in the records of writers from Petrarch to M i l t o n . The invention of the mechanical clock "toward the end of the thirteenth century,"^ the burgeoning mercantilism of the Renaissance, scientif ic discovery—especial ly Gal i leo's te lescope—, and Descartes' philosophy of universal doubt, were, perhaps, some of the factors that helped to create the tensions of worry and uncertainty. No longer did the church regulate the dai ly round of citizens with bells for Matins, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers and Compline, but a mechanical clock soullessly chimed the hours; the star of capitalism was on the rise, and time and moneymaking moved together. Around the mid-point of the seventeenth century in England, as the Renaissance grew to ripeness, Sir Thomas Browne wrote two discourses relat ing to two aspects of t ime, Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus, and Mi l ton published Samson Agonistes, a tragedy fraught with tension, in which time plays a major i f invisible role. It is with the idea in mind that, though "there's no clock in the forest," there is a clock within us, that I propose to 2 examine these works of Browne and M i l t on . That a connexion should exist between a piece of dramatic wri t ing and two discursive essays may appear on the surface to be somewhat tenuous. Beneath the surface, however, much can be found to justify the l inking of these seemingly disparate l i terary works. Fundamentally, both the tragedy and the essays are profoundly religious, and part of the aim in each work is to discredit paganism, to the greater glory of G o d . Also, a persistent upward movement from the lower levels of mundane experience to the upper regions of spiritual enlightenment is expressed symbolically in Samson and in Browne's two essays. However, because Browne's two-part work is without a unifying t i t l e , I shall attempt first to show that Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus is an integrated single ent i ty . When Browne's work is seen as a to ta l i t y , somewhat akin to the two hands of a man in relation to his mind and body, one can more fu l ly appreciate the similarity between this two-part piece and Mil ton's tragedy. Our sympathetic response to Samson Agonistes and the catharsis we experience at the close of the drama come largely from our recognition of the hero's passion and our rel ief from the tension of his dilemma. Aside from the soaring qual i ty of the blank verse which catches us up in the magic of its cadences, Mi l ton rivets our attention to a story we already know by concentrating on Samson's f rai l t ies, in many of which we see our own. Samson, therefore, represents Everyman in much the same way as he represents the people of Israel, for the Hebrew word Msra-el' means precisely 'he who struggled with God"; and his struggle to justify himself in the eyes of God is similar to the struggle of al l who seek to justify their existence. Samson's eventual triumph comes about, paradoxical ly, through his submission to the w i l l of G o d . And the 3 paradox and the triumph bring into sharp rel ief the crucial centre in the design of Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus. Paradox is the essence of the first essay and triumphant renewal is the root of the second. Together the essays form a single unit which can be seen as a cosmic drama turning upon an invisible axis wh ich , l ike a compass, directs us from the labyrinths of uncertainty to the pole of religious t ru th. In the preface to his edition of Ume Buriall and The Garden of Cyrus, John Carter refers to the essays as "the perfected products of Browne's matur i ty , " and quotes a remark of George Saintsbury who considered them " ' the quintessence both of ' . . 2 Browne's thought andof his expression'. " The word 'quintessence' operates with peculiar force in connexion wi th this work, for the number f ive is the essential note of harmony that is sustained throughout both essays in the rhythmical music of Browne's poetic prose. So much has been writ ten in praise of the sty le, part icularly that of Urn Burial , that it w i l l be sufficient here to summarize the subject matter in each essay before proceeding to an examination of the structure that unites them. In Urn Burial , Browne ransacks history in order to prove the vanity of man's desire to perpetuate the memory of himself in a monument and thereby to "escape the 3 universal predicament of o b l i v i o n . " In a comparison between the alternate methods of burying or burning the dead, he finds excellent reasons in support of each method. However, the ostensible subject, a discussion concerning some human bones recently discovered inside cinerary urns, is not, in fact , Browne's main concern. The urns had been found in a f ie ld on the estate of Browne's neighbour,^ Thomas Le Gros, to whom Urn Burial is dedicated. In the epistle dedicatory, Browne makes plain to his friend that "We were hinted by the occasion, not catched the opportunity to write of old things. . . . " And he states his main purpose both in his l i fe and in the essay 4 when he writes that, as a doctor of medicine, he works "to preserve the l iv ing . . . to keep men out of their Urnes." Ul t imately, Urn Burial proves to be a sermon urging people to deal justly wi th one another. t he Garden of Cyrus is a sermon of another order. Here, Browne displays the wonders of nature, the mystery of the night sky and the "vegetable delights" of gardens. Be aware of the sublime grandeur of the universe, the mystery inherent in a seed that w i l l become a mighty oak or a t iny f lower, then happiness w i l l fo l low, is the message conveyed in this essay. But, understanding the limits of language, Browne wraps his message in a symbol, the pattern of a quincunx or set of f ive points disposed in the shape of a square or rectangle with the f i f th point in the centre. In Urn Burial , Browne scoffs at the essential emptiness of man's wish to be remembered through the medium of some man-made monument, but who can sneer at the stars? In The Garden, Browne evokes awe and reverence for al l Creation by working through the symbol of the quincuncial pattern which is found in the natural order, the ar t i f ic ia l or man-constructed order of architectural designs and the l i ke , and in the mystical order expressed both " in Holy Scripture" and in the recondite concepts of Plato. And he does so without prejudice toward the superstitions of our primit ive ancestors. In Urn Bur ia l , Browne confines himself to mocking the pagan "founder of the Pyramids," in The Garden he opens "a large f ie ld " for future enquirers who seek "to trace the 5 Labyrinth of Truth" (The Garden of Cyrus, V , 343). Many crit ics study Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus by placing each section of the work beside the other. This method certainly makes clear the opposing themes of each essay, which Professor Frank L. Huntley has cogently defined: "One concerns death, the other, l i fe ; one the body, the other the soul; one passions, the other 5 reason; one accident, the other design; one substance, the other f o rm. " ^ Subsequently, additional opposing pairs swell the list: "The first essay treats of t ime; the second, s p a c e ; a n d , whereas Urn Burial exposes man's vani ty , The Garden g "exhorts to humi l i t y . " Indeed, the aesthetic tension inherent in such oppositions increases as one extends the list yet further to include the contrapuntal Iy rhythmic themes that ring the changes of each essay: dissolution and resurrection, transitory and eternal , conjecture and certainty, darkness and l ight , chaos and order. The list is seemingly endless. But the suggestion arising from such a presentation of opposing themes is that they balance each other in the way a set of scales can be made to hang on a leve l . The idea of balancing opposites in this way has led Professor Huntley to call Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus "Browne's twin essays." The term " twin essays" can be misleading, for one tends to imagine twins of identical weight standing alongside each other, possibly hand in hand. However, the essays are in no way ident ica l . Leonard Nathanson, in his recent study, The Strategy of Truth, finds great disparity between them. Nor should they be viewed side by side, for the structure of Browne's work is ver t i ca l . I. The Symbolic Structure of Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus The symbolic interpretation is the only one which expands, enlarges the wor ld , makes it boundless, i l l im i tab le . A l l others reduce i t . Andis N i n , Diaries, v o l . I l l , p. 76. The symbol Sir Thomas Browne keeps perpetually before us in Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus is the quincuncial pattern. Not only does each essay contain f ive chapters but the number f ive pervades them both. This is obvious in the second 6 essay where variations on the theme of f ive provide the central subject; i t is not obvious, however, in the f irst. The f ive chapters of Urn Burial while corresponding to the five of The Garden of Cyrus, also correspond to the number of points in a pyramid the base of which, being roughly square, creates four points, whi le the sides sloping up to a single point , similar to the apex of a t r iangle, supplies the f i f t h . Later, I w i l l attempt to show that the pattern of a pyramid is the prime symbol representing Urn Burial . First, however, I w i l l attempt to demonstrate that together the essays form the Roman numeral X , for once the form is recognised the meaning emerges with greater c lar i ty . Indeed, Professor H . D . F . Kitto has emphasized that " in a great work of a r t . . . the connexion between the form and the content is so vi tal that the two may be said to be ult imately i d e n t i c a l . " ^ In Professor Huntley's br i l l iant analysis of the two essays, he has already drawn attention to the Roman numeral X . ^ He describes the figure as "two V's (five's) 12 joined,at their apices," and pursues the design beyond its numerical significance to Browne's scheme. Clear ly , the idea of ten, the plenary number denoting fullness or completion, describes the scope of the work; i t also indicates the relationship of the discourses. However, Professor Huntley shows them to be related more specif ical ly in the form of "a Platonic dichotomy: two parts opposed yet conjoined, with a rising from the lower or elemental Urn Burial (death) to the higher or celestial Garden of Cyrus, 13 the 'numerical character' of real i ty ( l i f e ) . " Professor Huntley's words and the thought they carry echo those of Browne who, in the dedicatory epistle to The Garden of Cyrus, writes to his f r iend, Nicholas Bacon; That we conjoyn these parts of different Subjects, or that this should succeed the other; Your judgement w i l l admit without impute of incongruity; Since the 7 delightful 1 world comes after death, and Paradise succeeds the Grave. Since the verdant state of things is the Symbole of the Resurrection, and to flourish in ^ the state of G lo ry , we must first be sown in corruption. Browne's intention here is clear enough. For h im, the symbol of the Resurrection "is in the verdant state of th ings," and his t i t le alone imparts the nature of this discourse for it speaks of growth. The humour in his suggestion that we must first die and be buried in the earth before we can " f lour ish" , both underlines the connexion between the essays and gives an extra f i l l i p to the upward movement in the plan of the composition, the vert ical structure of which conforms precisely to the Roman numeral X , albeit resting on a plane surface. That the second essay is represented by the upper part of the numeral X , the Roman V or f ive which is the pervasive number of The Garden of Cyrus, is not d i f f icu l t to perceive. But that the first essay is represented by the lower part of the f igure, the inverted V , is not immediately apparent. I propose that the symbolic shape representing Urn Burial is not simply an inverted V tha t hangs in a vacuum, but a triangle or pyramid that rests heavily on the earth, out of "a shallow part" of which the Walsingham urns "were digged up. " I I . The Triangle of Time: Structure in Urn Burial In the first sentence of the dedicatory epistle to Thomas Le Gros, Browne places before his friend a triangular image. The letter begins, "When the Funerall pyre was o u t , " and this image, shaped very l ike a pyramid, is set so far back in time by the use of the past tense that i t can be viewed with detachment. Before the first sentence reaches its conclusion, the image is reinforced with three references to time: "future 8 ages," "old experience," and "dura t ion . " The tr iplet announces the main theme of Urn Burial: Time. Thus the triangular shape of a funeral pyre both depicts and assimilates the theme, for "durat ion" can be visualised as the base of the triangle wi th "old experience" and "future ages" forming the two opposite sides. Yet so quiet ly is the scene furnished that both symbol and theme slip by almost without our not ice. The second paragraph, however, shatters the quiet of the f irst. Browne commands the reader's at tent ion, forces him to not ice , drags him w i l l y - n i l l y into the discourse wi th a battery of questions. "Who knows the fate of his bones?" Browne asks. "Who hath the Oracle of his ashes?" Detachment is now out of the question. For those readers who know that Browne's skull was taken from his coff in in 1840, and endured the vicissitudes of being stolen, sold, measured and treasured unti l it was reinterred in 15 1922, the irony in these questions is acute. Yet for a l l readers, both Browne's contemporaries and ourselves, something happens when these, albeit rhetor ical , questions are put: Browne, Thomas Le Gros and the general reader become equally involved in contemplation of the inevitable prospect of death. The t r i -par t i te pattern of the pyre, symbolic of the three grammatical aspects of t ime, can now be seen to include everyone. Thus, wi thin the first two paragraphs of the prefatory letter, Browne has suggestively created three distinct triangles: the pyre i tself , the triangle representing t ime, and the one composed of " I " , " Y o u , " and "We;" that is, the wr i ter , the recipient of the dedicatory let ter, and the readers. It is this reader's bel ief that the triangular shape Browne had in mind during the composition of Urn Burial is that of the Pyramids. In the final sentence of the fourth paragraph of the dedicat ion, Browne hints at these Egyptian monuments. Here, Thomas Le Gros, an antiquary of no "slender" achievement, is asked to consider "The ancient 9 of dayes, the Antiquaries truest ob jec t . " The bibl ical account of men l iv ing in ancient times, "without Aegyptian account" Browne interjects, "makes but small noise," or only a slight impact compared wi th the greater number of "thousands." The reference to "the ancient of dayes" is surely to Chapters IV and V of Genesis where the descendants of Adam and Eve are l isted. The names mentioned in these two chapters total t w e n t y - s e v e n , ^ and, compared with the "Aegyptian account" supplied presumably by the massive memorials of the pyramids, the bib l ical number does seem p i t i fu l ly small. If this assumption is correct, and Browne intends us to picture the pyramids, the re lat ion-ship between a certain number of men's and women's names and architectural objects may be considered as "a kind of discordia c o n c o r s . " ^ Indeed, Dr. Johnson's famous remark in derogation of such unlike resemblances can, with justice, be applied to this particular combination of dissimilar images, for "the most heterogeneous ideas are 18 yoked by violence together" here. No precise reference to pyramids appears in Urn Burial before the penultimate paragraph of Chapter I I I . Here, in the central chapter and heart of the essay, Browne finds the pyramids to be less ancient than fossils of human bones petrif ied before the Flood. The triangular image is brought forward naturally and unostentatiously in the context of the sentence, for he writes: "mortalI bodies may remain in petrif ied bones . . . some may be older than Pyramids, in the petrif ied Reliques of the general I inundation" (Urn Burial , I I I , 271). ^ Thus, somewhat obl iquely , Browne reminds the reader of the pyramidal shape wh i le , at the same t ime, he reduces the importance of the Pyramids, perhaps the oldest of man-made monuments, by showing them to be less old than human fossils. And , in comparing the Pyramids with fossils, Browne, by impl icat ion, comments adversely upon the pagan ceremonies attaching to these tombs. 10 To be sure, the hint is slight but in the sentence immediately fo l lowing, he speaks of the opening of "the Tomb of Cyrus, Q n which j the remaining bones discovered his proportion" ( I I I , 271). So we receive the first hint of the t i t le of the second essay in as slight a fashion as we receive the in i t ia l mention of the symbolic shape of the f irst. Before proceeding to the final chapter of Urn Burial where the pyramidal image becomes overwhelmingly symbolic of Browne's central theme, i t is necessary to explain that the idea of the shape representing the first essay is planted early in Chapter I. The first sentence of Urn Burial is concerned with "a shallow part" of the earth's surface. The second concerns three things: " N a t u r e , " "the Earth" and "man. " Together, these three things echo the triangular image of the funeral pyre seen first in the epistle dedicatory. The third sentence reveals the theme of the discourse, Time. Browne writes, "The treasures of time l ie h i g h , " and the phrase introduces a paradox, the humorous absurdity of which pervades al l f ive chapters of the essay. Indeed, the first paragraph concludes with a paradox concerning the oldness of the New World . It also concludes with yet another reference to "the ear th , " which has been mentioned four times in as many sentences. The paradox by its very nature "exhibits some conf l ict with '19 pre-conceived notions of what is reasonable or possible," therefore presents a dual i ty , and, since i t is coupled in the same sentence with "the ear th , " the paradox and the image create a triangular pattern: "That great Ant iqui ty America lay buried for thousands of years; and a large part of the earth is st i l l in the Urne unto us." The triangular pattern the sentence evokes can be seen to contain a mystery. And even the mystery, which lies in the future, contains a paradox, for future discoveries are " in the Urne unto us." The urn here represents that which is within us, the mysterious workings of the mind, or man's invisible c lock, his imagination. However, what is clear in this 11 paragraph can be grasped: the plane surface of the earth itself forms the base of the t r iangle, whi le "Nature" and "man" supply the opposite two sides. Confined wi th in the space enclosed by these three sides is Time, "which reveals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries in ear th , " as we are told in the penultirro te sentence of this densely packed opening paragraph. However, the ultimate paradox in the f inal chapter o f Urn Burial , is the discovery that Time is an i l lusion, a "Chymera," existing only in the sejf-centred, confined imagination of man. But before Browne explodes the symbolic tr iangle of t ime, he establishes the conceit securely in the reader's mind. Though the triangle is eventually seen to be empty, as empty as man's vani ty , indeed as empty as the Great Pyramid itself which once contained the mummified body of a temporarily mighty Pharaoh, Browne proposes another triangular image that, somewhat di f ferent ly, repeats the symbolic shape. This profound image concerns the urn-womb paradox which Margaret Ash Heideman finds to be "the dominant and unifying 2Q symbol" of Urn Burial . In her penetrating study of the essays, Margaret Heideman follows Browne's 2;lt variations "on the constant theme of l i fe and death , " and finds in the central chapter the "centra l " paradox of the first essay. She draws attention to the sentence that describes the Walsingham urns wh ich , having recently been discovered in a f ie ld near Browne's home in Norwich, provide him wi th the ostensible subject of the essay: "But the common form with necks was a proper f igure, making our last bed l ike our first; nor much unlike the Urnes of our Na t i v i t y , whi le we lay in the nether part of the Earth, and inward vault of our Microcosme" ( I I I , 262). The significance of the "um-womb paradox" t o t h e triangular pattern of Urn Burial lies in its powerful evocation of mystery. This mystery is of a different nature from the one concerning the future. Here, the two 12 poles of time between which human l i fe is measured create a l ine, our l i f e - l i n e , which can be substituted for the base of the triangle seen earlier as the plane surface of the earth. The "vault of our Microcosme" mirrors the vault of heaven, and that "mystery of simil i tude" which Browne finds in the shape of the urn and the human womb, together with that elevated heavenly mystery, create this other triangular shape. For at birth and at death man is connected wi th the mystery that, in Christian terms, controls his being. But the main emphasis in Urn Burial is less upon the mystery that f i l ls the space created by the urn-womb-heaven triangle than i t is upon ideas, presented in triads, relating to the ultimate worthlessness of man's vain concern with moneymaking. Just as "the treasures of t ime" are visualized as "Urnes, Coynes, and Monuments" in Chapter I, so a similar tr iad near the end of Chapter V shows these treasures to be worth only money, for , at the time Browne is wr i t i ng , "Mummie is become Merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsoms" (V, 283). Indeed, i t is in Chapter V that Browne repeats again and again the symbolic pattern of the pyramid that was first suggested in the central third chapter. And i f i t is true that we reveal ourselves by our repetit ions, Browne here reveals the overriding triangular image that subsumes al l the themes he has been discussing. The theme of death, the subject of "these bones" found in the Walsingham urns, and the false idea that man can immortalize himself in a monument, are summed up* in the sentence: "But to subsist in bones, and be but Pyramidally extant, is a fa l lacy in duration" (V, 280). Equally false and similarly encased in an Egyptian image is the idea that man can continue to exist in the memories of other men, since 13 in this latter Scene of time we cannot expect such Mummies unto our memories, when ambition may fear the Prophecy of Ellas, and Charles the f i f th can never hope to l ive wi thin two Methusela's of Hector (V, 281). In his annotated edition of Hydriotaphia (Urn Burial) and The Garden of Cyrus, Professor Huntley clarif ies the above passage with a note stating that by the time Charles V , King of Spain, was born in 1500, Hector's reputation was twice as long as Methusela's age. Continuing this thought he draws the logical conclusion that i f the world is to end in 2000, as Browne seems here to think l i ke ly , the longest l i fe that Charles's reputation could have would be 500 years, "the Prophecy of Elias" indicating 2/2 that the world would last 6000 years. The assumption Browne makes, surely with tongue in cheek, is that 4000 years passed before the coming of Christ and, therefore, only 2000 years can fo l low. An atmosphere of apocalypse reigns in this passage, for not only w i l l each individual die and be forgotten but Time itself is disintegrating. '"Tis too late to be ambit ious," Browne calls out in the mannered pentameter of Shakespeare. "The great mutations of the world are acted, or time may be too short for our designes" (V, 281). And at the conclusion of the paragraph, in the symbol depicting "the remaining particle of fu tu r i t y , " Browne shows the actual pyramids collapsing, as Time, "which maketh Pyramids pillars of snow, and al l that's past a moment," l i tera l ly runs out. Part of Browne's charm, however, lies in his human compassion which cannot bear "the iniquity of o b l i v i o n . " It is wi th compassion that he looks back upon the pagan Pharaoh and asks with moving simplicity: "Who can but pity the founder of the Pyramids?" (V, 282). Indeed, al l of Browne's subsequent references to those misguided monarchs have the quali ty of 'a dying f a l l . ' The great "Aegyptian ingenuity" in the careful wrapping and preserving of their royal dead was "unsatisf ied," since all this art 14 "was vani ty , feeding the winde, and fo l l y . The Aegyptian Mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth" (V, 283). And the tr iad quoted earlier (see above, p J 2 ) , completing this particular cluster of Egyptian images, shows the mundane uses to which the bodies of once great kings have now been reduced. Two further references to pyramids remain to be discussed. The third paragraph before the end of Urn Burial opens with a typical tr iad of triangular images al l of which are i ta l i c i zed . "Pyramids, Arches, Obel isks, were but the irregularities of va in-glory, and wilde enormities of ancient magnanimity" (V, 285). Use of the past tense here is in sharp contrast wi th the immediately previous reference to Egyptology wherein Browne tells us, in t r ip l i ca te , the present mercantile use of Pharaoh's remains. The past tense, the recol lect ion of the present absurd use which Pharaoh now serves, and the denigrating phrases that Browne employs to deflate ancient Egyptian pomp, throw into high rel ief the humil i ty of "the Christian Religion" in wh ich , as the second sentence of this paragraph tells us, "the most magnanimous resolution rests" (V, 285). The entire discourse leads to the conviction that "the sufficiency of Christian Immortality frustrates al l earthly glory" (V, 284). Therefore, in the last sentence of Urn Burial , the final reference to Egypt evokes a f l a t , featureless desert. The pyramids have vanished and only "the Sands of Aegyp t , " shifting l ike the sands of t ime, remain. It is as i f Browne, having demonstrated that Time erases, now erases Time. Clear ly , for h im, that which is invisible wi thin us is of in f in i te ly greater importance than that which can be sensually apprehended. He finds external considerations of time to be of l i t t le consequence, for "we l ive by an invisible Sun within us" (V, 285). Inner i l luminat ion, therefore, is the only clock we need; and the only epitaph, a good name for having dealt honestly and innocently "w i th men in this wor ld" (V, 285). "Five 15 languages secured not the Epitaph of Gordianus" (V, 284), Browne recalls, and, along with this fact the number, f ive re-enters the reader's mind, reminding him of the quincuncial pattern embedded in the pyramidal structure of this discourse and preparing him for the pattern that w i l l permeate the next. The pattern of t ime, l ike so much in Urn Burial that Browne finds of va lue, is real ly invis ible, as invisible as the happiness of those "whom privacy makes innocent" (V, 285). A n d , since he is " invis ib ly interred by Angels , " we may concede that "The man of God lives longer without a Tomb than any by one" (V, 284), as Browne avers. Would he permit us to add that the man of God would also l ive longer without a c lock? It is probable that he would since he demolishes the pyramidal structure representative of Time. Time cannot be enclosed, not even by the metaphor of a symbol. It has no structure beyond that imposed by the human mind. Browne uses the triangular symbol of the pyramid to represent the human concept of time which is, essentially, a linear concept. Our habitation during l i fe is "the earth" into "a shallow part" of which we eventually drop. Hence man and the earth are intimately connected. The base of one tr iangle is represented by the earth, and the base of the other by man's l i fe - l ine which extends from womb to tomb. The triangle based upon solid earth is completed by the opposing forces of "Nature" and "man , " whi le that based upon the equally stable ' real i ty ' of the urn-womb paradox is completed by the lines connecting man with the heavenly mystery. Placed parallel to each other, their base lines f ixed immovably in fact , the triangles can be seen approaching obl iquely unti l they meet at their apices. Together, therefore, the two triangles create the symbolic pyramid. Browne's purposeful and symbolic destruction of the Pyramids, his concern to show them as empty tombs and as morally disorderly emblems 16 of vani ty , indicates that man's concept of t ime, along with his vain desire for fame are equally void of meaning. However, there are three important things to observe in Browne's pyramidal structure. The first concerns what I w i l l cal l Triangle 1 . In this t r iangle, Browne names the three sides: "the ea r th , " " N a t u r e , " and "man . " In Triangle 2, however, the implication is clear that he provides names for the two base angles, either 'urn and womb' or 'birth and death. 1 Equally the apex of this second triangle can be i termed 'the heavenly mystery' or 1 G o d . ' Therefore, when the two triangles meet at their apices, the topmost point in the symbolic pyramid now created represents the ineffable name. The third and, perhaps, most important fact concerning this design can be observed when, on raising Triangle 2 above Triangle 1 in the manner of l i f t ing a hinge, the quicuncial pattern of The Garden of Cyrus becomes immediately apparent. The fol lowing diagrams illustrate this design: Triangle 1 Triangle 2 Pyramid created In the vert ical arrangement, the topmost point of the pyramid, the prime symbol of the first essay, becomes "the mystical decussation" Browne speaks of in the second essay. In keeping with the vert ical structure of the complete work, the point where both triangles meet is the crucial centre of both essays. From this aspect, it appears obvious that this unnamed centre of the Roman numeral X , offers a reason why Browne does not 17 supply a unifying t i t le to this extraordinary masterpiece. Ult imately language fai ls , for God's name is ineffable. The great culminating chapter of Urn Burial not only frustrates, symbolical ly, the earthbound glory of pagan Egypt, but i t exposes the real import of the essay. Urn Burial is itself a paradox, for though i t speaks throughout of death, its essential burden treats of l i f e . "To l ive indeed is to be again ourselves," Browne affirms at the close of his treatise, and, as one can now expect, the emphasis falls upon the third word of this final sentence. And the word receiving the stress, though written as one word and making complete sense in its singular aspect, is real ly two. For to l ive ' in deed 1 is the positive message Browne conveys through the medium of a massive monument that is made to disappear. The negative message also appears in this f inal sentence where Browne indicates that it does not matter where our corporeal remains are interred since "'Tis all one to lye in St. Innocents Church-yard, as in the Sands of Aegypt: Ready to be any th ing, in the extasie of being ever. . . . " (V, 285-6). I I I . The Seeds of Perception: Shape in The Garden of Cyrus A sense of timelessness pervades The Garden of Cyrus, yet though time cannot be contained, as Browne makes clear in Urn Buria[, the second discourse is founded upon a specific shape exposed exp l ic i t l y in the diagram of the quincunx. So paradox persists, along with the quincuncial pattern. But whereas the gloom in the first essay is i l luminated by the smoky flames of funeral pyres and the yel low f l icker of candles in the dark caverns of Roman catacombs, the second essay is ablaze with the br i l l iant l ight of the heavenly luminaries. Sun, moon and stars shine in The Garden, and thus 18 nature's l ight informs the inward eye of the reader, enabling him to perceive anew things hitherto taken for granted or even passed by without not ice. A discourse upon nature should come as no surprise to readers of Browne, for in the first chapter of the Religio Med ic i , he says that there are . . . two bookes from whence I col lect my Div in i ty ; besides that written one of God , another of his servant Nature, that universal! and publik Manuscript, that lies expans'd unto the eyes of a l l : those that never saw him in the one, have discovered him in the other: This was the Scripture and Theology of the Heathens (Religio Med ic i , I, 16) . ; And at the close of this section of the Religio, Browne insists that . . .nature is not at variance with ar t , nor art with nature; they both being the servants of his providence: Art is the perfection of Nature: Were the world now as it was the sixt [ s 'cJ day, there were yet a Chaos: Nature hath made one wor ld , and Art another. In br iefe, al l things are ar t i f ic ia l I, for nature is the Art of God . Now, therefore, in his treatise upon gardens, Browne attempts to combat the darkness of "Chaos" with his ar t , which is replete wi th knowledge culled from the Bible, the learned works of classical authors, books of hort icul ture, architecture, medicine, philosophy and from his direct observation of nature. Yet despite the fact that the book of Nature "l ies expans'd unto the eyes of a l l , " Browne stil l expects the reader to bring al l his discerning faculties to view the contents of The Garden for there is much _ here that Nature knows not of . An example of the kind of vision Browne requires of his reader is provided by the t i t l e . The ful l t i t le is The Garden of Cyrus. O r , The Quincunc ia l l , Lozenge, or Net-work Plantations of the Ancients, A r t i f i c i a l l y , Natura l ly , Myst ical ly Considered. 19 If the comma is removed after "Qu incunc ia l l " (and i t may be the comma is dubious), one can see that this discourse has three tit les that w i l l be considered in three different ways. Thus the triads of Urn Burial are carried instantly into The Garden, reminding the reader not only of the Trinity but also of the account in Genesis of the "Work of the third day; the vegetable creation, and first ornamentall Scene of nature" (Garden, 1 , 294). To notice so slight a detai l may appear t r iv ia l but, apart from the pleasure he derives from his playful art of framing conceits, i t is obvious that when Browne is in his Garden he is preoccupied with the great force behind every deta i l . Therefore, perhaps it is important to see the superior position he gives to the number three in an essay devoted to the number f i v e . Sight is usually reckoned as the first of the f ive senses, and sight is referred to in the first sentence of Browne's prefatory letter to Nicholas Bacon. Here, Browne says that i f he had not "observed that Purblinde men have discoursed well of sight, and some without issue, excel lent ly of Generat ion," he would not have "attempted this Subject." And the subject of The Garden of Cyrus primarily concerns both sight and generation. The faculty of perception is not, of course, l imited to the eyes, nor is the power of generation l imited to the bodily organs, for thoughts too can be generated. A sense of the limitlessness of human potential is somehow linked to the sense of timeless-ness in The Garden, and man is invited to participate in this limitless, timeless world by becoming aware of its innumerable mysteries. Obviously, mysterious matters that are hidden from human knowledge or comprehension cannot be enclosed wi th in a shape, and Browne makes no attempt to confine them. The f ive points of the quincunx, in i t i a l l y described as the pattern 20 exemplif ied by the disposition of trees in the plantations of Cyrus, are represented by the Roman numeral V , the upper half of "the Letter X , that is the Emphaticall decussation, or fundamental! f igure" (Garden, I, 297). Apart from its numerical significance in the overall design of the complete work, the Roman V is topless or open at its upper extremity. Indeed, i t is unbounded in much the same way as grace is unbounded. Also, the radical shape of the figure resembles the roots of plants, and plants provide the central subject in the longest and central chapter of The Garden of Cyrus. Before proceeding to an examination of the quincuncial design Browne finds in plants and other natural phenomena, i t is important to dwell for a moment on the dedicatory epist le. Here,, Browne outlines the purpose of his discourse on gardens. The first paragraph of his letter to Nicholas Bacon announces the general theme: since "the Earth is the Garden of Nature, and each frui t fu l l Countrey a paradise," this discourse w i l l fol low the example of Theophrastus* who "raised his generalities chief ly from the f i e l d . " Thus, in his Garden, Browne w i l l raise general truths. Eventually we learn that what he has been raising is a mental replica of Paradise to be enjoyed not hereafter, but here and now. The present moment is the segment of time wedged into the Roman V , and the perpetual present is the golden mean time between ant iquity and "future ages", wherein Browne would have us l i ve . In the second paragraph of the epist le, Browne defines his subject through the * Theophrastus, who is said to have attended Plato's lectures, eventually took over the presidentship of the school from Aristot le. He wrote the first system of botany. (Oxford Classical Dictionary) 21 process of exclusion. "We write no Herbal l , nor can this Volume deceive you, who have handled the mossiest thereof," he explains. And in the third paragraph, any idea that he might be attempting to "erect a new Phytology" or study of plants, is dismissed. What he w i l l attempt, however, is to remember "old things" and from this old f ield of knowledge "wr i te something new, i f truth may receive add i t ion . " To add "something new" to truth is Browne's a im. In making the attempt, he follows the precept that in order to become human, man must reach for the superhuman. The idea of giving oneself "a mark to aim at " is expressed by Browne's contemporary George Herbert in his preface to A Priest to The Temple . And in the previous century, Sir Philip Sidney had expressed the same thought when he wrote in his Arcadia that man shoots higher when he threatens the moon than when he aims at a tree. Browne's aim is high indeed, for to "wri te something new" would seem almost impossible. Yet this is his intention and, in the opening sentence of the fourth paragraph of his letter, he explains the d i f f icu l ty of his task to his f r iend, whose knowledge Browne respects although he considers i t to be somewhere incomplete, for he writes: You have been so long out of tr i te learning, that 'tis hard to finde a subject proper for you; and i f you have met with a Sheet upon this, we have missed our intent ion. In this mul t ip l ic i ty of wr i t ing , bye and barren Themes are best f i t ted for invention; Subjeets'so often discoursed confine the Imagination. . . . 0 To "confine the Imagination" is precisely what Browne does not wish to do. Therefore, he refuses to " f i x " his friend's mind by spelling out what addition to truth The Garden of Cyrus contains. Instead, he encourages Bacon and the reader to seek 22 i t out by reading the treatise, and merely hints here at the "col lateral l truths" wh ich , "though at some distance from their pr inc ipals," may be admitted. The wide opening of the unbounded figure V illustrates the final sentence of this fourth paragraph, for Browne writes that " i f we sometimes take wide l iber ty , we are not single, but erre by great example." Perhaps he is referring to those interpreters of the Bible who were especially active during the seventeenth century. On the other hand, he may have had in mind the "great example" of the bibl ical writers themselves, or that other great exemplar, Plato, to whom later he pays particular homage. But, apart from the "wide l iberty" which offers a wide angle through which the reader can view "the Quincunx of Heaven" and other mysteries of the universe, the radical shape of the Roman V can be seen to be rooted in the pinnacle of the pyramid representing Urn Burial. A n d , since the pinnacle represents the ineffable name, everything in The Garden of Cyrus is intimately connected with God-, for everything emanates from "the Emphaticall decussation." Hence, the Roman f i ve , "the 'numerical character 1 of real i ty ( l i fe)" in Professor Huntley's phrase, illustrates Browne's plan of composition: he placed The Garden after Urn Burial in order to show that l i fe can fol low direct ly from death, since from the Pyramid, which is Pharaoh's urn, spring up the real and the symbolical flowers that grow in this philosophical garden. The Garden of Cyrus opens with the lovely pagan image of Vulcan giving arrows to Apollo and Diana. The image evokes a pel lucid atmosphere of both sunlight and moonlight. It also indicates an appreciative att i tude toward primitive mythology, an attitude which persists throughout The Garden and is very different from that shown 23 toward the pagan beliefs of the ancient Egyptians in Urn Burial. Evidently the open angle of the V sign admits many kinds of t ru th. Indeed, while taking to task his 23 beloved Plato, "the Divine Philosopher," for omitt ing "the noblest part" of what took place on the third day of Creat ion, Browne does not disparage the "Descriptions . . . from Pagan pens." The theological preoccupation of the f inal chapter of Urn Burial undergoes a sea change in The Garden, where it is perceptible as an underlying thematic mot i f , but where i t never becomes doctr inal . Browne's insight is at work in The Garden, and here his pastoral inclinations lead him to preach a sermon to al l humanity. The movement of thought in this second essay can be simply charted through an examination of the shapes Browne creates. For instance, The Garden of Cyrus is suspended above Urn Burial in much the same way as "the Pensill or hanging gardens of Babylon" and, possibly, even "Paradise it se l f , " were "elevated above the plane of the Earth" (Garden, I, 295). Yet the famous k ing , "Nebuchodonosor," presumably the founder of these hanging gardens, "found no circumscription to the eye of his ambit ion" and, for his fo l l y , was properly punished by exi le " in the contrary habi tat ion, in wi lde plantations and wandrings of the f ields" ( l o c . c i t . ) . The phrase concerning "the eye of his ambit ion" opens an unbounded area to the reader, and this uncircumscribed area receives yet broader scope in the image of the exi led king's wide "wandrings." The warning here is impl ic i t . From this contrary movement, Browne picks up the pyramidal image. He carries i t from the dark uncertainty of the first essay and uses it to il lustrate the l ight and clar i ty of the second. Speaking of v is ion, he writes: 24 For al l things are seen Quincuncia l ly ; For at the eye the Pyramidal rayes from the object receive a decussation, and so strike a second base upon the Retina or hinder coat, the proper organ of Vis ion. . . J (Garden, IV , 336). And , in this scientif ic section dealing wi th "the Laws of direct V is ion , " he explains how "the Sun and Moon beheld in water" can be seen " in a perpendicular," since "the visual I rayereturneth Quincunc ia l ly , and after the form of a V " (Garden, IV , 336). Browne explains that a similar "rule is observed in the reflection of the vocall and sonorous line in Ecchoes" ( loc. c i t . ) , and he even believes that the intel lect receives information in a l ike manner, for he writes: Things entring upon the intel lect by a Pyramid from without, and thence into the memory by another from w i th in , the common decussation being in the understanding. . . (Garden, IV, 336-7) . The philosophy of the Egyptians as wel l as their Pyramids enter The Garden with Browne's approval. In fact , he welcomes the mysterious Egyptian lore since, here, i t supports the pattern of his thought, for . . . i f Aegyptian Philosophy may obta in , the scale of influences was thus disposed, and the geniall spirits of both worlds, do trace their way in ascending and descending Pyramids, mystically apprehended in the Letter X , and the open Bill and stradling Legges of a Stork, which was imitated by that Character (Garden, IV , 337). In this way, Browne pursues the pattern both of perception and generation. Through "the open Bill and stradling Legges of a Stork," the bird wh ich , to this day, symbolizes the birth of a c h i l d , the abstract shape of the Roman X is rev i ta l ized. From "old things" such as the Roman figure for ten , Browne brings a refreshing bit of 25 knowledge, for "the Letter X" merely " imi ta ted" the Egyptian hieroglyph of a stork. And in admitting this l ive ly Egyptian image, he reverses his previous att itude to things Egyptian. Another ostensible reversal is Browne's att i tude to Christ ianity. The two essays present two perspectives. In Urn Burial , Browne affirms the supremacy of the Christian fa i t h . In The Garden of Cyrus, however, by decl ining "the old Theme. . .o f crosses and cruc i f ix ion" ( I , 297), he makes clear the universality of his theological stance. Here, even certain pagan truths are admitted, for was not the book of Nature "the Scripture and Theology of the Heathens"? Even so, during the long process of excluding from the discourse such things as "the mysterious crosses of Aegypt. . .not unlike the character of Venus" ( I , 298) which is the biological symbol for female ? , and the ancient Hebrew tradit ion wherein "the High-Priest was anointed decussatively or in the form of a X" ( loc. c i t . ) , Browne keeps a l i ve , i f only by analogy, the memory of the cross of Christ. Ye t , throughout Chapter I, indeed throughout al l f ive chapters of The Garden of Cyrus, images pertinent to the main theme, which concerns the number f i ve , are drawn chief ly from pagan sources or the O l d Testament. In his first chapter, Browne writes of the ancient art of planting trees in the shape of the decussis (the "Quincuncia l l Lozenge"), and attempts to discover the originator of this plan. He fixes upon Noah as the earliest agriculturalist but immediately suggests that some rule of regular planting probably existed before the Flood. His thoughts range back to Abraham, slide forward to the garden of Solomon, then return to the garden of "Paradise i t self" where the quincuncial pattern may have 26 originated since "the tree of knowledge was placed in the middle" ( I , 301). Thus, in the movement of Browne's thought, he traces the pattern of the Roman V wh i le , at the same t ime, he keeps before us the complete picture of the decussis. In Chapter II which consists of the ar t i f ic ia l consideration of the design, Browne pursues the pattern from its earliest known uses in architecture, to the making of crowns, beds, chairs, windows and nets. Not surprisingly, the image of the pyramid reappears but now it is unhampered by religious bias and the ancient Egyptians can be seen as prodigious inventors from whom mankind has learned much that is useful. Browne writes appreciatively of "the sculpture draughts of the larger Pyramids of Aegypt" ( I I , 302), he finds "Pyramids" in the ancient chess-boards of Persia and describes the work of lapidaries who "cut their gemms pyramidal ly, or by aequicrural triangles" ( I I , 304). And f i na l l y , after explaining an amazing variety of ancient devices wherein the number f ive plays a signif icant ro le , he closes the chapter wi th a description of the lozenge-shaped "Funeral bed of King Cheops, in the greater Pyramid" and of another "o ld sepulchral bed. . . in the marketplace of Megara" ( I I , 308). So again Browne links the number f ive to the larger view of the complete figure by reminding the reader of the sepulchral darkness of Urn Burial . Powerfully contrasting the gloom of these temporal tombs is the gl i t ter of starlight in the eternally revolving yet ever-fixed night sky that opens the third chapter and illuminates the "naturall examples" of the quincunx spreading across Chapters III and IV. In the central and longest chapter of The Garden, Browne searches for truth in the heavens as well as on earth where he finds other stars in abundance: Could we satisfie our selves in the position of the lights above, or discover the wisedom : of that order so invariably 27 maintained in the f ixed Stars of heaven; Could we have any l ight , why the stellary part of the first masse, separated into this order, that the Gird le of Or ion should ever main-tain its l i ne , and the two Starres in Charles's Wain never leave pointing at the Pole-Starre;!we might abate the Pythagoricall Musick of the Spheres, the sevenfold Pipe of Pan, and the strange Cryptography of Gaffarel l in his Starrie Booke of Heaven. But not to look so high as Heaven or the single Quincunx of the Hyades upon the head of Taurus, the Triangle, and remarkable Crusero about the foot of the Centaur; observable rudiments there are hereof in subterraneous concretions, and bodies In the Earth. . . ( I l l , 308-9) . In the above passage, the eye of imagination travels from "our selves" upon earth to "the lights above," traverses a wide arc (for "the Centaur" is in the Southern Hemisphere) and returns again to "the Earth." By performing this imaginative act of understanding, Browne's creative mind traces the shape of the Roman V , the numerical value of which he finds in endless examples throughout "the orderly book of nature" ( I I I , 323). Toward the end of Chapter IV , Browne leads the reader yet again from the "perpetual shades" in which seeds l i e , to the airy dominions of the sun, planets and stars. And before embarking upon the mystical consideration, he returns to the creation of l ight wi th which The Garden begins and, in a f l ight of magnificent prose, reverses the in i t ia l paean of praise to the first "Orbes" with an invocation to shadow: Light that makes things seen, makes some things invisible; were it not for darknesse and the shadow of the earth, the noblest part of the Creation had remained unseen, and the Stars in heaven as invisible as on the fourth day, when they were created above the Horizon, wi th the Sun, or there was not an eye to behold them. The greatest mystery of Religion is expressed by adumbration, and in the noblest part of Jewish Types, we finde the Cherubims shadowing the Mercy-seat: Life i t self is but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the l i v ing : A l l things fal l 28 under this name. The Sunne it self is but the dark simulachrum, and l ight but the shadow of G o d . ( IV, 335). Appropriately, the shadowy mysteries surrounding the number f ive are brought into sharp focus in the f i f th chapter, where Browne settles his natural consideration o f the quincuncial pattern by saying that the "greatest number of Flowers, consist of f ive leaves; and therein doth rest the setled rule of nature" (V, 338), and calls attention to the "wedding number", the emblematic f ive "which ancient Numerists made out by two and three" (V, 339), that is, by joining the numbers designating female (two) and male (three). To il lustrate the generative properties of the number f i v e , Browne dips once more into the O l d Testament to remind the reader of the mysterious addition to the names of Abram and Sarai of the Hebrew "Letter He, the f i f th in their Alphabet " ( loc. c i t . ) . " I f Abram had not had this Letter added unto his Name, he had remained fruitlesse, and without the power of generation" (V, 340), Browne writes, and, by impl icat ion, the number f ive is l inked with the Roman X wh ich , as has already been noted, " imi tated" the Egyptian hieroglyph of a stork. While it is true that Browne is preoccupied with the precise pattern of the quincunx in its various visible forms, i t is also true that he is profoundly concerned with what is invis ib le. For instance, when he remarks in Chapter III that men take "notice of what is outwardly visible" ( I I I , 313), he proceeds immediately to talk about seeds, the inner mystery of which was invisible to men in the seventeenth century. Throughout his long digression upon seeds in the important central chapter of The Garden , Browne makes clear his lack of knowledge. For instance, he does not know why i t is that " in the germination of seeds. . . the lighter part ascendeth, and maketh the sprout, the heaviest tending downward Jjraming"| the root" ( I I I , 316). Browne's 29 intense interest in what is mysterious leads the reader to seek out the mystery contained in the t i t le of this essay. What is clear, is that the name 'Cyrus' contains five letters, but i t is not immediately apparent why Browne chose this particular Persian prince to stand as the t i tular head of his discourse. The fol lowing explanation may account for the meaning of Cyrus' pre-eminence. In choosing the garden of Cyrus II as the prime example of ancient gardens in which trees were planted in sets of f i ve , Browne casts a br i l l iant l ight upon the first and more famous Persian king of this name. Cyrus the Elder, better know by his cognomen Cyrus the Great , figures prominently in the O l d Testament, not "as the splendid and regular planter" of gardens ( I , 296), but as God's appointed agent who, in the prophetic words of Isaiah, w i l l "set judgement in the earth" (Isaiah 42:4). This Cyrus was revered by the Jews because he released them from Babylonian capt iv i ty , urged them to return to Jerusalem and, by restoring their treasure that had been captured by Nebuchadnezzar, 24 helped them to rebuild the Temple. Babylonia fell to the armies of Cyrus in 538 25: BCE, from which date the Temple began once again to grow. * O f especial interest here, is the garden imagery through which Isaiah sets the scene in preparation for the coming of this enlightened k ing . In Isaiah 40: 6 -8 , whi le quoting the voice he hears, the prophet cries out — "A l l flesh is grass and its beauty l ike the wi ld f lower's. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of Yahweh blows on them. (The grass is without doubt the people.) The grass withers, the flower fades, 2 D but the word of our God remains for ever ." 30 "Cyrus the elder" is the first of that name to be mentioned in Browne's essay. His upbringing " in Woods and Mountains" is recalled along with the fact that he beautif ied "the hanging Gardens of Babylon" so nobly "that he was. . .thought to be the authour thereof" ( I , 295-6). However, Cyrus the Elder is not the Cyrus of Browne's t i t l e . The information that Cyrus was "not only a Lord of Gardens, but a manuall planter thereof" ( I , 296), came to Browne through a Latin translation of a work by Xenophon. O f Xenophon's many works, the one concerning "our magnified Cyrus" ( loc. c i t . ) is certainly the Anabasis, and this deals with Cyrus the Younger. Browne makes clear that It is this younger Cyrus who was the gardener, for he was "second Brother" to "Artaxerxes Mnemon," and, although "a person of high spirit and honour, naturally a King, £wasj fata l ly prevented by the harmlesse chance of post-geniture" ( loc. c i t . ) . The Oxford Classical Dictionary supplies this further information: CYRUS (2) I I , younger son of Darius II and Parysatis, and his mother's favouri te. . . . Cyrus was summoned to the court in 405 on his father's fatal i l lness, but Arsaces, the elder brother, succeeded as Artaxerxes I I . 2,7 Yet , since Xenophon also wrote the Cyropaedia, an " ideal ized biography" of Cyrus the Elder, perhaps it is no w i ld conjecture that Browne is working subliminal ly upon the imagination of the reader, as it were teasing him into accepting the idea, without debate, that The Garden of Cyrus is connected with "Cyrus the elder" who 28 was renowned as "a model of the upright ru ler . " One is incl ined to l ink the name of Cyrus (the Elder) wi th that of King Solomon, since the latter bui l t the First Temple, which was "completely destroyed by 31 Nebuchadnezzar," and Cyrus was responsible for building the "Second Temple." Browne somehow reinforces the reader's natural incl incat ion to l ink the two names, for The Garden of Cyrus is studded with references to King Solomon. Indeed, 30 Margaret Heideman finds Solomon to be "a presiding spirit" in the essay. In Chapter I, Solomon is first mentioned in connexion with the Persian word 'Paradise' ( I , 295), and "the Garden of Solomon" is described in considerable detail ( I , 300); in Chapter II attention is drawn to the "Latt ice and Stonework. . . in the Temple of Solomon," and also to the "L i l l ies , and Pomegranats" that decorate "the pillars of Solomon" ( I I , 303); in Chapter I I I , the network "on the head of the Teazel l " is described where, " in the house of the solitary maggot, [one~| may finde the Seraglio of Solomon" ( I I I , 310); and in Chapter IV, "the Husbandry of Solomon" is applauded since it agrees with "the doctrine of Theophrastus" ( IV, 328). Thus the emphasis upon Solomon's wisdom in the matter of planting his luxurious garden, connects this great king with the founder of the Persian Empire, the Cyrus whom Browne mentions first as having "brought the treasures of the f ie ld into rule and circum-script ion" ( I , 295). Somewhat hidden though it may be, the connexion between Cyrus and Solomon is not the only invisible item in Browne's mysterious Garden. Not at al l mysterious, however, is the fundamental shape of The Garden of Cyrus wh ich , resting in the Roman V , leads the reader to seek for two distinct climaxes in the discourse. The peak or cl imax of Urn Burial comes in the f inal chapter and is symbolized by the emptiness of the pyramid. But, as Margaret Heideman notes, The Garden of Cyrus "has a double cl imax. . . £which she finds in] the image near 31 the end of Chapter IV, and f i n l the symbol in the conclusion." © 32 This "double cl imax" can be perceived to be suspended above the two upper points of the Roman V . The first c l imax, the image summarizing the mystical considerations of Chapter IV , is "the figure of a Greek X" ( IV, 337). But this Greek £chf| X , of which "Figure Plato made choice to illustrate the motion of the soul, both of the world and man" ( IV, 337), is seen to reside within a c i rc le . Paraphrasing Plato's explanation of how "the Creator compounded the wor ld" (Timaeus 32), as wel l as the soul and body of man, out of the four elements, Browne writes: . .God divided the whole conjunction length-wise, according to the figure of a Greek X , and then turning it about reflected i t into a c i rc le; By the circle implying the uniform motion of the first O r b , and by the right l ines, the planetical and various motions within'-it (IV,tJ337). The first c l imax, then, is represented by a cross within a c i rc le . The symbol conjoins both essays, for the shape of Plato's Greek X is identical to the Roman numeral X and the circle containing this figure thus encloses al l the points of Browne's discourses. The symbol is clearly that of a wheel with four spokes; i t evokes the Wheel of Fortune which is forever turning, and the c i rc l ing planets which control l ight and darkness as well as the months and seasons. It also represents the soul, which Plato says is "interfused everywhere. . . [and whichj began a divine beginning of never ceasing and rational l i fe enduring throughout al l t ime" (Timaeus, 36b). Therefore, among other things, the circle represents Time, whi le the four segments created by the central cross represent the four elements, the four seasons and man himself. Indeed, in regard to the latter, one is reminded of the famous circ le of Leonardo inside which is drawn the figure of a man with arms and legs extended obl iquely and touching the perimeter at a l l four extremities. 33 32 Professor Huntley finds the "central emblem" of The Garden to be the c i r c le , or , more precisely, "the Greek Theta, 0 , which is thanatos or death: the circle is G o d , perfection ; immortality; the horizontal representing the corporal, d iv is ib le , 33 dea th . " ' From this v iew, the circle of the Greek theta with its central bisecting l ine can also be seen as a symbol of each essay. Moreover, Browne has drawn attention to "the mortall r ight - l ined c i rc le" in the concluding chapter of Urn Burial where he writes: "Circles and right lines l imit and close all bodies, and the mortall r ight- l ined c i rc le , must conclude and shut up a l l " (Urn Burial , V , 281). The concluding symbol of The Garden of Cyrus, which is the second cl imax, is 34; the cluster of stars " in the constellation Taurus" known as the Hyades, which Browne calls "the Quincunx of Heaven" (Garden, V , 343). In astronomy, Taurus 35 "is the second sign of the zodiac" occurring in the spring of the year during the last part of Apr i l and most of May. At this time of the year, Browne's England is a garden rich with flowers of every hue; the sap is rising in the trees and the general atmosphere of freshness and renewed v i ta l i t y is characterised by the bounds of new-born lambs. It is the time of the celebration of the Passover, a word deriving "from 36 the root 'dance' or ' l eap , ' connecting it with an ancient spr ing-fest ival . " The Paschal Lamb, tradit ional ly sacrificed as "a burnt of fer ing" at this ancient fest ival , is the symbol representing Christ whose supreme sacrifice is celebrated at Easter, the chief Christian feast, which solemnizes the anniversary of the resurrection. Appropriately, one derivation of the word 'Easter' is from the O l d English word for 37 "spring goddess." A l l these metaphors come into play in connexion with Browne's spring symbol "the Quincunx.of Heaven," and the date he places beside each 34 dedicatory epistle to the discourses is May 1st, or May Day. The date serves to unify the essays and might also serve to conceal a message that Browne's contemporaries, especially his readers with Royalist sympathies, would be quick to observe. In 1658, the year in which Browne published the essays, Ol iver Cromwell d ied. Cromwell's death not only prepared the way for the restoration of Charles II two years later, but was preparatory to the restoration of the celebration in England of May Day. A chief feature of this celebration is the flower-decorated Maypole around which young dancers weave intricate patterns whi le holding the loose ends of streamers attached to the pole. "These dances were forbidden during the Puritan Revolution, but were 38' again sanctioned at the Restoration," thus Browne, the Anglican Royalist, had cause to re jo ice. That he did so through the symbol of his springtime date, is typical of much that is conveyed through the subtlety of silence across both essays. Perhaps the most significant of Browne's 'si lent' messages is that conveyed by the non-existent t i t le of the work. There is no doubt "that Browne intended us to read the two essays together and in the order he gave them;" for he consistently published them together "and in this 40 order in the four editions published during his l i f e . " Moreover, in the dedication of Urn Burial he clarif ies his aim which is "to preserve the l i v ing , and make the dead to l i ve , to keep men out of their Urnes. . .which is not impertinent unto our profession; whose study is l i fe and death" (dedication of Urn Burial , 246). Each essay is thus seen to be concerned with one subject: the best way to l i ve . Nevertheless, dual i ty resides in almost everything within this two-part work and Browne's reference in each essay to the Janus head apt ly summarizes his double-lensed 35 view of the wor ld. In the reflection of the triangular shape of the Roman V , one can perceive the pyramid. By joining these supposed opposites into one clear, in te l l ig ib le symbol, the Roman numeral X , Browne somehow resolves the paradox, for he places the symbol within a sphere. Just as the triangular shapes may be seen to represent the Tr in i ty , so the sphere is representative of "the mysticall Name of God , which consisting of Letters denoting al l the sphaericall Numbers, ten, f i ve , and six" 41 (Garden, V , 340), may be imagined as the ' invisible' t i t le of Browne's work. In his Tractatus Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein writes: " O f that which one 42 can say nothing, thereof one must remain s i lent . " This knowledge is Browne's through in tu i t ion . There is no name for the unifying principle of the world in re l ig io-philosophical terms, therefore Browne quiet ly resists the temptation of inventing one. In the quiet close of the discourse, before he drops into a brief and natural sleep beneath a night sky br i l l iant wi th starl ight, Browne completes his circular image, that "must conclude and shut up a l l , " by symbolically circumnavigating the globe. "The Huntsmen are up in America , and they are already past their first sleep in Persia" (V, 344), he murmurs whi le drowsily approaching sleep in E n g l a n d . ^ Thus the reader is reminded of the New World in the west, first mentioned at the beginning of Urn Burial , and the old world in the east wherein lies Persia, the country to which "we owe the very name of Paradise" (Garden, I , 295), and in which Cyrus planted his orderly garden. 36 IV . Man's Relationship with God: Vert ical Structure in Samson Agonistes In the introduction to this paper, I have spoken of resemblances between Browne's essays and Mil ton's tragedy. I would now l ike to discuss some of these resemblances. The first concerns design. In the vert ical structure of Browne's two-part work, he ascends from the chaos o f uncertainty on earth to the "order and mystical Mathematicks of the C i ty of Heaven" (Garden, V , 343). As Browne ascends from the earthly confusion of Urn Burial to the mysterious order of The Garden, he gradually opens up progressively wider perspectives that continual ly increase man's awareness of the inexplicable nature of the universe. In Samson Agonistes, M i l t o n , too, constructs an ever-widening design in the vert ical pattern of his tragedy. Samson ascends from the nadir of confused despair to the zenith of intui t ive certainty. Throughout this upward movement, the hero gains wider and deeper insight both into his own mind and into the nature of his kinship w i th G o d . Thus, not only is the essential structure of both works ver t i ca l , but the design of each displays a marked resemblance to the Roman numeral V . Eventually, I w i l l show that in Samson's passage from ignorance to understanding, the shape of this Roman numeral is clearly del ineated. As are Browne's discourses, Mil ton's drama is based upon juxtapositions: the hero's glorious past and the degradation he suffers in the present, his relationship wi th his human father and with his spiritual father, the alternation between the metaphors of darkness and l ight , the disorder and tension inherent in doubt and the peace of mind resulting from certainty. However, although both Browne and Mi l ton emphasize man's need of ' l ight from above 1 to i l luminate the darkness of his ignorance, Mil ton's tragedy 37 unfolds its central message not through contemplation, but through the experience of the hero's active search to understand his destiny and to fu l f i l l i t . Only wi th the passing of time can Samson receive the inspiration that leads to his redemption and undying fame. Indeed, time in Samson Agonistes, as in Browne's essays, is of paramount importance. It is the only one of the so-called 'three unities' that Mi l ton mentions in the preface to his dramatic poem, a preface which explains Greek tragedy, upon 44 ..................... the form and in the spirit of which Mi l ton constructs his tragedy. " In Mil ton's Debt to Greek tragedy in 'Samson Agonistes', whi le discussing "The Three Uni t ies," Wi l l iam Riley Parker calls attention to the fact that Mi l ton's reference to time "constitutes the last sentence of his preface," and points out that " lack of space did not prevent his adding more." "Is there anything significaritabout th is?" Parker asks. I suggest that there is wider significance than Parker indicates. That Mi l ton should leave out of account al l reference to other unifying factors in Greek tragic drama and lay stress only upon time in the closing sentence of his preface, would indicate that the reader should pay particular attention to time when reading the tragedy. One should be aware, for instance, that not only does time control the mechanics of Mil ton's plot and the progress of Samson's soul, but it also controls the long delayed dawn of understanding that , for Manoa, the Chorus and the reader, eventually illuminates the dark mysteries of God's just ice. And of particular interest to this discussion is the phrasing of the final prefatory sentence: The circumscription of time wherein the whole Drama begins and ends, is according to antient ru le , and best example, wi th in the space of 24 hours.4° According to Parker, the 'antient rule' concerning the t ime- l imi t of Greek 38 tragedy "was the invention of Renaissance cr i t ic ism, probably deduced from a passage 47 in the Poetics where Aristotle is contrasting tragedy with epic poetry . " The passage in the Poetics to which Parker refers merely states that whereas epic poems have "no f ixed l imit of t ime. . . Tragedy endeavours to keep as far as possible within a single 48 circui t of the sun, or something near t ha t . " By his strict adherence to this rule of the sun's c i rcu i t , Mi l ton makes of the element of time a simile that acts powerfully to underscore the brevity of the hero's l i f e . The action of Samson Agonistes begins at sunrise, "With day-spring born" (11), and ends at noon (1612); thus Mi l ton abbreviates the prescribed "24 hours" by approximately seventeen hours. Whi le this abbreviation of time is a staggering stroke of dramatic compression, i t is also a technique to heighten the essential tragedy, the cutt ing off of Samson's l i fe whi le in the prime of his manhood. However, of even greater significance than the correspondence between Samson's foreshortened l i fe and the foreshortened day is the connexion between Samson and the sun itself. The hero's name is the Greek form of the Hebrew Shimshon which 49 means "serving l ike the sun." ' Thus, when the sun reaches the highest point in the heavens, Samson, too, reaches the zenith of his career and the implication is clear that Samson's spir i t , l ike the sun, has mounted to the highest heaven. The sun's extreme elevation and Samson's return to God are, therefore, synonymous. Nevertheless, the catastrophe introduces a paradox, for the l ight of Samson's l i fe is extinguished at the very moment when the sun's l ight is strongest. The moral is obvious: Samson is stronger in death than he was in l i f e . Indeed, his fame is sti l l being sung. 39 In the essays, Browne's preoccupation with paradox, with the errors of paganism, with l i fe and death, with what is invisible as wel l as what is v is ible, and with darkness and light has already been discussed. That Mi l ton is equally preoccupied wi th these matters in his tragedy is, of course, eventually apparent. However, that the analogy goes beyond the general and manifests itself in various particular ways I now hope to show in the fol lowing analysis of Samson Agonistes. As the t i t le indicates, conf l ict and tension form the substance of the tragedy, yet the sum of the parts shows that the various conflicts treated here result in progress. 50 Indeed, Blake's famous dictum, "Without Contraries is no progression," could stand as a motto beneath Mi l ton's t i t l e , for the agon or contest reflects not only Samson's conf l ic t with the Philistines but the contrary forces at work within the hero himself. Just as Browne remarks in the opening paragraph of Urn Burial that "a large part of the earth is sti l l in the Urne unto us , " so Mi l ton makes clear in the opening soliloquy of Samson that a large part of the hero's mind is, so to speak, "st i l l in the Urne" unto him. The inner workings of Samson's mind are exposed in his speeches; thus the reader is aware of al l the many troubles over which he agonizes, and the sense of his eponym, Agonistes, is carried over from his outward act iv i ty as a contestant and his inward battle wi th his ignorance, to reinforce the mult iple agonies he suffers. That his suffering stems from an error of judgement is, of course, in accordance with Aristotle's summation of Greek tragedy, but one of the few details from scriptural sources which Mi l ton does not include, the fact that Samson "judged Israel twenty years" (Judges, 16:31), has additional implications that bear direct ly upon his suffering and Mil ton's treatment of this suffering. 40 According to modern scholarship, the narratives in the book of Judges are the most ancient of al l b ibl ical writ ings, predating Genesis by hundreds of years, and their ant iqui ty , no doubt, accounts for their fragmentary nature. Abba Eban, in his history, My People: The Story of the Jews , provides the fol lowing information about the judges of Israel that explains Samson's profound feeling of responsibility toward his people, his acute despair over his failure to lead them wisely and, worse, his fai lure to wisely judge himself: In times of crisis the people applied for help to a judge. He was a general custodian of the public interest—seer, mi l i tary leader, and deliverer al l in one. He was a man chosen by God for his mission, endowed with divine spir i t . The Book of Judges is our only record for this period. It is very fragmentary and details of the rule of the Judges are few. O f some, l ike Othnie l and Ehud, who were not involved in any mil i tary crisis, we know l i t t le but their names. On the other hand, Deborah and Jephthah, Samson and Gideon, Eli and Samuel, have made history. No judge ever ruled over the whole of Israel. The evolution which led to the establishment of national unity was caused not so much by internal as by external developments. The Philistine crisis was an emergency that the tribes could not meet.51! Mi l ton has captured the spirit that motivated these highly particular judges but nowhere does he mention the specific fact that Samson "judged Israel twenty years . " Possibly the extended period during which the bibl ical Samson exercised his custodianship did not suit Mi l ton's design, for in the drama Samson is presented as a man sti l l comparatively young and with no authority over "Israel's Governours, and Heads of Tribes" (242). On ly his peculiar position as a Nazar i te , one who took upon himself certain vows of abstinence, al lowed "no rasor. . . upon his head" and separated himself "unto the Lord" (Numbers 6: 2 -21) , is stressed. However, that Samson feels a distinct responsibility to al l of Israel and not simply to his own tribe of Dan, is clear from the start. In his only monologue, when he is face to face with 41 himself, Samson refers to the angelic prophecy (Judges 13:5) announced to his parents before his bir th: "Promise was that 1/ Should Israel from Philistian yoke del iver" (39), and his intimate and prenatal connexion with God from whom the promise emanated is, for Mi l ton's Samson, sufficient authori ty. Samson knows that God expects from him "some great act" that w i l l benefit "Abraham's race" (28-9). It is this inner knowledge that spurs so many questions, causes such mental turmoil and eventually reduces to the level of merely minor problems the bitterness of his blindness, his subjection to r id icu le , and his physical misery in the Philistine's slave m i l l . Therefore, the bib l ical reference to Samson's eminence as a judge of twenty years' experience, is of no advantage to Mi l ton ; indeed, it would weaken the concentrated force of the hero's character. Mi l ton's Samson suffers, not because his Nation has come to expect wise guidance from him but because he has come to expect wise guidance from God and, for a moment, it appears God has let him down. As Samson's thoughts move onward in his sol i loquy, he discovers that the contrary is true: "what i f al l fo re to ld / Had been fu l f i l ld but through mine own default . . . " (44-5). The soliloquy with which Mi l ton opens the drama is even more densely packed with information pertaining to past, present and future than is Browne's paragraph that opens Urn Burial . That M i l t o n , l ike Browne, is in i t ia l ly concerned with time is clear from Samson's "restless thoughts" that press upon him he says, " l i ke a deadly swarm/ O f Hornets. . . and present/ Times past, what once I was, and what am now" (19-22). And Mil ton's wish to convey a sense of the mystery that lies in the future, appears in Samson's innate understanding that he''must not quarrel with the w i l l / O f highest dispensation," for God "Haply had ends above my reach to know" (60-63). Samson's 42 use of the past tense when referring to God's intentions concerning him does not thwart the reader's expectations. On the contrary, these expectations are heightened, for what Samson w i l l do in the future is already known to the audience and their concern rests solely in the desire to learn how the hero w i l l overcome the slavishness of both his physical condition and his mental at t i tude. In the opening paragraph of Urn Burial , Browne is concerned with "the deep discovery of the Subterranean wor ld" and he says that "Nature hath furnished one part of the Earth, and man another." In Samson's sol i loquy, Mi l ton is concerned with "the deep discovery" of man's subconscious mind, and, i f one substitutes the word 'God ' for "Nature" and the words 'man's mind' for "Ear th "—and these words are metaphorically synonymous—it is not d i f f icu l t for the reader to perceive that Mi l ton is expla in ing, through Samson, that God "hath furnished one part of [man's mind] , and man another," for Samson's "high gi f t of strength" (47) comes from G o d , whereas his weakness in revealing the source of the gift comes from himself. When Marjorie Nicolson says "that Samson Agonistes is pre-eminently a 5-2 psychological study of the development of a human be ing , " she is stating a deep truth,,%fqr apart from the theological aspects of the tragedy, Mi l ton is primari ly concerned with man. Whereas Browne explores the mysteries he finds in external nature, Mi l ton explores the mysteries of man's mind by fol lowing Samson along the devious paths of his mental wanderings. This analyt ical technique allows the poet to show how man perceives himself, how he perceives other individuals, and how he can understand his relationship with God if his cultural background has prepared him to reach an understanding with the Dei ty . As Arnold Stein has noted in his analysis 43 of Samson, i t is in the hero's opening speech that certain "major thematic anticipations" are made apparent. In his soli loquy, Samson refers both to his div inely inspired birth and to his subsequent breeding which was "orderd and prescr ib 'd/ As of a person separate to God" (30-31), but , in bewail ing his blindness, he complains that he feels already "buried" (101). This, in a sense, is true for he is total ly buried in himself. Mi l ton provides Samson with a f i t t ing image to describe this state of self- immolation: "My Self, my Sepulcher, a moving Grave" (102), moans the erstwhile mighty hero. A t the start of the drama then, Samson's in i t ia l connexion with God is made clear; he was of God from the womb, and, on his own admission, he is at present in the urn, as bereft of l ight "As in the land of darkness" (99). The dark weight of Browne's first essay is in evidence here, as wel l as the hollow sound of the empty pyramid, for the dirgel ike wai l of distress ceases when Samson hears approaching "The tread of many feet" (111). The emphasis upon "onward" movement can be fel t from the first l ine of the soli loquy. Samson's steps may be "da rk , " owing to his blindness, but he knows his direction for he asks the mute actor (or could it be God?) to guide him to "yonder bank . " Samson must climb this bank which offers "choice of Sun or shade," and in the upward movement of the cl imb as wel l as in the choice, the future dramatic progression of the drama is foreshadowed. When Samson feels "The breath of Heav'n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet," bringing him consolation, there is another foreshadowing of later events, and there is yet another in the announcement of the Philistine feast which brings respite to him now. 44 The onward movement of the opening lines suffers a set-back when the accumulation of Samson's "restless thoughts" brings him to a stand-st i l l . The serenity of dawn that pervades the first seventeen lines of the poem is shattered once the memory of the hero's br i l l iant past floods over h im, cal l ing forth a series of anguished questions. The epistle dedicatory of Urn Burial opens in a similar way, for, l ike M i l t on , Browne sets the scene for his discourse quiet ly , then delivers a battery of alarming questions (see above, p. 8 ) . The burden of each set of questions is also similar, for both concern the unknown future. Browne captures the reader's attention by asking "Who hath the Oracle of his ashes?" Mi l ton alerts his audience by having the now infuriated Samson question G o d . Afra id of his rashness, the hero answers his first questions himself, and, true-born Israelite that he is, Samson answers the questions with a question: "Whom have I to complain of but my sel f?" (46). Ye t , despite this knowledge, Samson slips back quickly to his antagonistic att i tude and blames God for fa i l ing to give h im, along with strength, "a double share/ O f wisdom" (53-4). Once more he checks himself: " I must not quarrel with the w i l l / O f highest dispensation" (60-1); but "loss of sight" is too great a grief for him to bear with patience. Tossing aside all formality with God Samson gives ful l vent to his anger, and one can almost hear him shout at his Maker when he hurls his f inal question: "Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree?" (85). To this question no answer is forthcoming. Samson is too blind spir i tual ly to respond. The shuttling between sunlight and ."total Eclipse" (81), between the flashes of insight and total ignorance, and between the formal and the personal relationship wi th God ends wi th Samson's lyr ical descent into 45 sel f -p i ty where, shrouded in darkness, he feels "hal f dead" (100) and almost buried. A change in metre, in tone and in thought enlivens Samson's next speech as he rises from the grave of himself to address the Chorus. He greets this group of w e l l -wishers wi th zest, saying, "Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn / Now of my own experience, not by ta lk" (187-8) how to distinguish true friends from false. And he leaves behind him the private grief of his blindness, supplanting that pain wi th another, since he says, "that which was the worst now least aff l icts me" (195) for mortal shame humiliates him now. No doubt he feels he can unburden himself to friends and expose the secret he brought back from the grave of his former despair wherein, faced only with himself and G o d , he reached almost to the core of self-knowledge. N o w , face to face with his friends, he can admit to having been a fool who has "divulg 'd the secret gift of G o d / To a deceitful Woman" (201-2) for which he now suffers "his deserts" (205). But almost immediately he learns something of even greater consequence, something no one but himself could know: he learns the real reason for his punishment. In Samson's second speech to the Chorus, whi le answering their question concerning his reason for marrying "Phil istian women" (216), he admits that though his first marriage to the woman of Timna was "of God" (222), his marriage to " D a l i l a , / That specious Monster" (229-30), did not emanate from the same " int imat impulse" (223); Samson says, parenthetical ly, " I thought it lawful from my former act" (231). The knowledge contained in his parenthetical remark that slips by almost without notice is so ter r ib le , its implications so profound, the sin against God so grave, that Samson instantly buries if and blunders on , blaming himself not for his presumption 46 in assuming God's mantle to cover his own private desire, but for his "weakness" in giv ing up his "fort of silence to a Woman" (235-6). In this brief admission of his prime error lies the crucial centre of Samson's suffering. True though i t is, the ful l realisation of his crime against God does not dawn full upon him until Dal i la draws it forth some two scenes later, when Samson reaffirms his error of judgement wi th the words, " I to myself was false ere thou to me" (824). Meanwhi le, he tells the Chorus, and, in the fol lowing scene, he tells Manoa that his crime is merely "Shameful garrul i ty" (491), and though openly accepting the blame for "a l l these evi ls" that have fal len upon him, "Sole Author I, sole cause" (376), Samson persists in pretending to himself as wel l as to others that his only fault lay in not keeping God's "holy secret" (497), the source from which flowed his God-given gi f t of strength. It was for this prime error, Samson's disdain of God's precise authority and the substitution of his own, his insistence upon marrying Dal i la to satisfy himself rather than to pursue God's design, that Samson was denied "the prime work of God" (70) wh ich , in the sol i loquy, the hero considers to be the ab i l i ty to see l ight . During his monologue, he mistakenly rails against his physical strength, claiming that "strength is my b a n e , / And . . . sourse of a l l my miseries" (63-4). Not strength but eyesight was the real source, for it was the sight of the seductive Dali la that ensnared Samson and made him turn from God to the embraces of the specious Philistine monster. The connexion between Dali la and the devil is not hard to perceive and Mi l ton is anxious that the reader should not miss the resemblance. As outwardly fair as Satan in the early books of Paradise Lost, Dal i la so bedazzles the Chorus with her magnificent 47 appearance, her "Amber sent of odorous perfume" (720) and her tears, that they call her "damsel," a diminutive generally denoting approbation, and l iken her to "a fair flower surcharg'd with dew" (728). But Samson is protected from Dali la's intoxicat ing physical presence partly by his blindness, much as Odysseus is protected from Circe's charms by the herb Mo ly . And by v iv id recollections of his past experience with her, he is not only proof against her outward gl i t ter but also against the glibness of her tongue and its hypnotic snake-like f l i cker ing. Mi l ton here makes sure that the audience is forewarned of Dali la's ab i l i ty to tel l convincing l ies, for her first words, "With doubtful feet and wavering resolution I came" (732-3), belie the description given by the Chorus of her swift and overbearing approach, "Like a stately Ship. . . / Sails f i l l d , and streamers waving" (714, 718). It is t rue, as Stein emphasizes, that the submissiveness of Dali la's first words 5.4 "only confirm what the Chorus described," but without question, Dal i la could be playing to the Chorus in the tearful hesitancy before she speaks. Perhaps she hopes to win its support. , But that this is clever play-act ing becomes apparent even to the group of gaping Danites when Dal i la eventually departs. The animal image in Samson's first explosive words to her, " O u t , out Hyaena" (748), underlines the baseness of this seemingly fair woman. And toward the end of this speech, the animal image is given more precise meaning for, having compared Dali la's "wonted arts" with those of other false women, Samson describes the situation of wel l - intent ioned husbands who are worn out wi th the "feignd remorse" of their wives, as "EntangI'd with a poisnous bosom snake" (763). Mi l ton's evocation of the Serpent-Satan and of Eve in this passage is obvious. Yet it is not to Eve that Mi l ton most pointedly refers, but to the "poisnous. . .snake." 48 In Paradise Lost, as in Genesis, Eve represents Everywoman just as Adam represents Everyman and since, in Samson Agonistes, Dali la does not represent womankind but only those women who are false, who "break al l fa i th , al l vows, deceive, betray" (750), she is, without doubt, Sin incarnate, none other than Satan's "Snaky Sorceress" of a daughter (Paradise Lost, I I , 724). Indeed, Samson calls her "the sorceress" (819). That her serpentine arguments fai l to entangle or ensnare Samson at this point in his career in the drama, is positive proof of the sincerity of his repentance and of his new-found strength of character which appears for the first t ime. The Samson who confronts Dal i la and worsts her, is a different Samson from the world-weary son of Manoa who tells his father that "deaths benumming Opium £is h is jone ly cure" (630). Samson's relationship with his human father is, of course, different from his relationship wi th God . Paradoxically, Samson shows a greater degree of respectful formality to Manoa than he does to God . For instance, he never raises his voice to Manoa nor does he address his father with the intimate second person singular " thy" with which he cries out at God in his sol i loquy, and with which Manoa addresses Samson. It is clear that Samson is more concerned with God than with his father, for in all but one of Samson's speeches to Manoa , God is the subject, and, in declining Manoa's favour of buying a reprieve from the Philistines for his son, Samson is adamant in his wish to "pay on Qiis^punishment;/ And expiate, i f possible [[his] crime" (489-90) against God . Even Samson's first words to Manoa are not those of greeting to a beloved father but those of a lecture in defense of God's justice. However, this is a l l very human; Manoa is a bit ter old man, although basically simple and k ind. 49 Understandably, he is exasperated because his c h i l d , from whom he expected so much,-has not l ived up to his promise. First Manoa is angry wi th God who, having taken Samson into His special care, has now overwhelmed the boy with "foul indignit ies" (371). But when Samson takes upon himself the entire blame for his condi t ion, Manoa, unsympathetic, belabours him unsparingly. The old man simply cannot fathom the complexity of his chi ld who, l ike most chi ldren, feels he knows more than his father. In Samson's case this is true, for he knows the real cause of his punishment though he keeps this knowledge from his father, choosing rather to lay the blame upon the lesser crime, his "Shameful gar ru l i ty . " However, Manoa delivers heavy paternal punishment when he berates Samson for his part in the blasphemy of God taking place this very day in the magnification of Dagon at the Philistine feast. Samson does not explode with self-righteous rage at this sharp thrust; instead he quiet ly acknowledges his father's right to chastise him for the shame he has brought upon his "Father's house" (447). Nevertheless, the thrust has hit home and Samson's mental anguish at the thought that he has raised the praise of Dagon,:1' Among the Heathen round; to God have brought Dishonour, obloquie, and op't the mouths O f Idolists, and Atheists; have brought scandal To Israel, diff idence of G o d , and doubt In feeble hearts. . . (451-455) is more than he can humanly sustain. His withdrawal from l i fe begins here, for i t is at this point that Samson resigns his responsibility as Israel's champion with the remark: "a l l the contest is now/ 'Twixt God and Dagon" (461-2). The adverse effect Manoa has upon his son, foreshadowed by Samson's first remark to the Chorus when they announced Manoa's ar r iva l , now becomes apparent. 50 The additional "inward gr ief" (330) that Manoa's very name had awakened in Samson at the approach of this unwanted visitor, is made manifest in the hero's downward plunge to the very nadir of despair. This plunge into the depths is vastly different from the earlier descent into sel f -pi ty in the soli loquy. Now Samson says God "hath cast me off as never known" (641), and his only prayer is for "speedy death" (650). Manoa has precipitated this death-wish, for Samson was wel l-aware of the feast to Dagon which has provided this holiday from "servile t o i l " (5) in the Philistine gaol . By giving vent to his anger, Manoa, perhaps purposely, has rubbed salt into an already open wound' and-iithee ensuing pain at the "sense of Heav'ns desertion" (632), the most excruciating pain of all,makes Samson lose al l hope of recovery. The parallelism between the earthly and the heavenly father is clear. Both in f l ic t pain and both are concerned with redemption. Yet , in Samson's wish to d ie , to give up the self, to submit utterly to "the w i l l / O f highest dispensation" (60-61), he makes his regeneration possible. In a highly particular sense, the idea Browne expresses in his prefatory letter to The Garden of Cyrus, that " to flourish in the state of G lo ry , we must first be sown in corruption" is true here. Samson is only too aware of his corrupt condition since his "wounds immedicable/ Ranckle, and fester, and gangrene,/ To black mort i f icat ion" (620-23). However, his "state of glory" is soon to be realised, for not only does God grant his request for "speedy death" but, in accepting the hero's honest contr i t ion, prepares the way from the debasement of moral weakness to the height of moral strength. I ronical ly, Samson is helped to climb not by his friends but by his deadliest foes, the Philistines. The first of these foes is Da l i l a , and her appearance at this moment in the drama is most f i t t ing since i t was for her sake that Samson first turned from God . Now God 51 offers His chosen champion an opportunity to redeem himself, and Samson proves equal to the t r i a l . Indeed, from this heaven-sent interview with his traitorous w i f e , Samson gains the insight he lacked earlier when all he could do was complain that physical strength was his bane. The physical bl inding does not begin to strike him as an indication of his lack of inner perception un t i l , paradoxical ly, Dali la succeeds in making his past l i fe clear to h im. By pleading womanly weakness as an excuse for her offence against her husband, and, in accusing him of a similar weakness in making known to her "wherein consisted al l [h is ]s t rength" (780), Dal i la triggers the psychological switch that throws sudden l ight upon Samson's prime offence against G o d , and permits him to 'see through' the cunning art i f ice "the sorceress displays" (819) in her defensive argument. At last the bitter truth emerges and Samson can say to Da l i la , . . . I gave, thou say'st, t h 1 example, I led the way; bit ter reproach, but t rue, I to my self was false ere thou to me. (822-24) He now knows beyond al l doubt that his first error lay in his weakness in placing Dal i la above God . In choosing her, he chose to worship a false god. He loved her "Too w e l l " (879), "could deny [her] nothing" (881). The extreme low-point of Samson's l i fe in the drama is clearly the moment before Manoa departs on his errand to the Philistine lords. The turning point can be seen in Samson's admission of his weakness. He makes plain the knowledge of his first crime against G o d , as well as Dali la's crime against himself when he says, " A l l wickedness is weakness" (834). This brief statement, occurring almost exactly halfway through the tragedy, is 52 the pivotal centre of Samson Agonistes. Here Mi l ton shows the hero identi fying his judgement of Dali la's behaviour with what he believes must be God's judgement of Samson's own weakness, or wickedness, since Mi l ton finds the terms interchangeable. And to stress the contrast between Samson's physical strength and moral weakness during this earlier period in the hero's l i f e , the poet has Samson repeat the word 'weakness1 three times in as many lines: . . . weakness is thy excuse, And I believe i t , weakness to resist Philistian gold: i f weakness may excuse What Murtherer, what Traitor, Parricide, Incestuous, Sacrilegious, but may plead i t? A l l wickedness is weakness. . . (829-834) The stress is necessary, since Samson no longer exhibits this t ra i t . As a result, his insight both into his own " fo l l y " and into that of the other protagonists, grows steadily broader and deeper. However, in the first three repetitions of the word 'weakness', Mi l ton lays the heaviest stress upon the "weakness to resist. . . g o l d . " This emphasizes the unworthiness of Dal i la 's wish for mundane reward and brings to mind Browne's emphasis upon the ultimate worthlessness of moneymaking, impl ic i t in his derogatory remarks in Urn Burial about the accumulated treasures of the pagan Pharaohs. And his insistence upon the essential emptiness of man's vain wish for fame can be recalled when Mi l ton has Dali la proudly boast about her future fame: I shall be nam'd among the famousest O f Women, sung at solemn festivals, Living and dead recorded. . . (982-4). The emptiness of her expectations is eventually understood when the audience realises that the Philistines capable of wr i t ing songs in her honour w i l l soon be dead. 53 And , presumably, Dali la herself w i l l be dead too, for she would not be absent, from the feast where "The public marks of honour and reward" (992) she expects are l ike ly to be proferred. Samson's moral victory over Dal i la has l i f ted him from the black despair he was in at Manoa's departure. In resisting Dali la's offer and in al lowing her to speak out al l that her mind contains, Samson has not only demonstrated anew his dedication to God but has taught the Chorus that the "damsel" they had admired earlier is, in their own final estimation, "a manifest Serpent" (997). Undoubtedly, the "double share/ O f wisdom" (53-4) Samson had yearned for in his monologue is now being granted to h im, for much wisdom is required to enable him to forgive "wedlock-trechery endangering l i fe " (1009). In the restraint that he shows in his next t r i a l , i t is clear that Samson is in ful l possession of the long-desired "double share of wisdom." With the entry of the Philistine giant of G a t h , Samson has yet another chance to display the change in his personality and the return of his inspiration. That God is also responsible for the arrival of Harapha can be implied from the announcement of the Chorus who wonder "what wind hath blown him hither" (1070). No doubt it is the Spirit of G o d , who once "moved upon the face of the waters," and now has inspired Harapha, a windbag of immense proportions, to visit the prisoner. The inf lat ion of Harapha's first speech is underlined by the brevity of Samson's rejoinder. In a single line the Philistine's reason for coming, his desire to see the famous strongman of Israel, is answered: "The way to know were not to see but taste" (1091). What Samson won with his wits in his confrontation wi th Da l i la , he is now prepared to battle for with his brawn. But Harapha declines the offer on the grounds that Samson is not only bl ind but d i r ty . The hero parries this insult with a direct challenge, 54 :ouched in strict ly mi l i tary terms. Thoroughly convinced by Samson's spirited charge, Harapha diverts the thrust by accusing the Israelite of using "spells" and "some Magicians Ar t " (1133) to give him strength. This accusation provides Samson with a motive to resume his mission. In his forthright reply to the Dagon-worshipper, Samson denies the use of "forbidd'n Arts" (1139) and instantly takes his stance as God's "Champion" against Dagon. If Samson has lacked a motive for physical action before, he lacks it no longer. Harapha's suggestion that Samson is a l iar , that his strength "from Heaven" was feigned (1134-5), provides the hero with an outlet for his desire to "be useful" and to "serve" (564). Samson has nothing but contempt for Harapha himself, but for Harapha as 'stand-in' for Dagon, he has a warm welcome since here is the chance to use his now returning strength in the service of the One who gave i t . In Parker's apt summary of this si tuat ion, Samson's . . . fa i th grows stronger as the cal l to action assumes real i ty (1139-1155). Harapha now—very signif icantly for the p l o t — echoes Samson's and the Chorus's hitherto unanswered complaint of God's desertion (1156-1167). We are now at the heart of the drama. Hearing these words from a Phil istine, Samson finds his faith completely; al l his doubts d isappear .^ Several hours have passed since Samson climbed the bank outside the prison and he has made considerable psychological progress during this enforced holiday from the mind-numbing physical labour in the m i l l . Psychologically, Samson has advanced from the low point of his self-involvement to a higher point of self-mastery, and now, in his dramatic challenge to Harapha, he moves yet higher. As the sun ascends, so does Samson. His statement, "My trust is in the l iv ing God" (1140), makes clear his f i l i a l devotion to his spiritual father who now, as i t were, resides within h im, and, l ike the steadily rising sun, gradually il luminates both the path he has travelled and 55 the way ahead. The reader may be reminded here of another statement involving the sun as a spiritual force at work within individuals. In Urn Burial , Sir Thomas Browne declares that "we l ive by an invisible Sun within us" (V, 284), and in his statement can be seen, symbolical ly, the same clock that controls Samson's destiny. In his reply to Harapha's assertion that he is "A Murtherer, q Revolter, and a Robber" (1180), Samson br i l l iant ly defends his character and reviews his past in a l ight very different from his previous gui l t - r idden harangues. The boastfulness he displayed in i t ia l l y to the boasting Philistine bul ly , which harked back to the days when "swoll 'n with pride" he walked about " l i ke a petty God" (532, 529), has now been replaced by a humil i ty brought about "by his blindness" (1221) wh ich , though i t maims him for "high attempts," does not prevent him from offering yet a third challenge. But the "Tongue-doughtie Giant" (1181), blustering helplessly and cal l ing upon his gods, "Baal-zebub" (1231) and "Astaroth" (1242), retreats "crest-f a l l ' n " (1244). Samson has taken a long stride forward from the static moment of self-defeat when Manoa left h im. Now, freed from the hubris which brought.about his humi l iat ion, he has successfully passed his second tr ial and, as the Chorus predicts, has precipitated another encounter with the foes of God . With the departure of Harapha, Samson displays new insight into human behaviour. When the Chorus expresses fear that the Philistine "w i l l d irect ly to the Lords" (1250) and bring about further suffering to Samson, the hero replies with a clear=-cut analysis of the situation. Harapha, he says, "w i l l not dare mention" (1254) the challenge because he wi l l not dare to accept i t , nor w i l l the Philistine "owners" (1261) make things worse for the prisoner, for this w i l l only reduce their dai ly profit from his t o i l . 56 This reasoning is superior to that of the Chorus, but, i ron ica l ly , i t is Samson's third point that draws the highest praise from his friends. He speaks from intui t ion when he says: But come what w i l l , my deadliest foe w i l l prove My speediest f r iend, by death to r id me hence, The worst that he can g ive, to mee the best. Yet so i t may fal l out , because thir end Is hate, not help to me, i t may with mine Draw their own ruin who attempt the dead. (1262-67) That this flash of insight, foreshadowing the f inal tr iumph, comes from the "guiding hand" of God seems certain. Yet Parker provides several other views, the most meaningful of which is his own: Samson does not yet see his mission, of course, and he is momentarily despondent. We must remember, however, that in this epeisodion he has not only been thoroughly roused to act ion; he has also been cheated , by circumstances and his enemy's cowardice, of a precious opportunity of serving G o d . ^ ° After singing of his strength, the Chorus extols Samson's "Heroic magnitude of m i n d , " his "celestial vigour" (1279-80). He has become, the Danites chant . . . his own Deliverer, And Victor over al l That tyrannie or fortune can in f l i c t . (1289-91) And the choral song concludes with an ironic suggestion that , possibly, Samson may be renowned more for his patience than for his superhuman strength. But the strenuous mental labour of "This Idols day" (1297) is not over; wi th the arrival of a Public O f f i ce r , the Chorus expects "more t rouble" . Samson temporarily averts the coming climax with a truly heroic refusal to attend the games in honour of Dagon. Fearful o f the consequences of this def iance, the Chorus, unheroical ly, begs him to look to his own interests. But Samson is no 57 longer concerned with his outward self, only his "conscience and internal peace" (1334) interest him now. He has moved a great distance from the human realm within the confines of which he had defended his character to Harapha. Now before the Off icer departs expressing his sorrow at the decision, it is clear that Samson has inklings of the destruction he w i l l soon wreak upon his enemies, for he speeds the Philistine on his way back to Gaza with prophetic words: "Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed" (1347). In view of the sacrifice Samson is about to make, it is interesting to note the care that Mi l ton takes to prepare the sacrif icial v i c t im . From Harapha's insults, the reader is aware that Samson is d i r ty , and from the first description of him by the Chorus i t is apparent that the hero's " i l l - f i t t e d weeds/ jare] Ore worn and sol id" (12283). However, the Public Of f icer has proposed to make arrangements himself for Samson to be washed "and fresh c lad" (1317). The offer does not come from the Philistine's sense of human decency but from his concern for what w i l l appear f i t t ing "before th ' illustrious Lords" (1318). And that these "Lords" are themselves 'unclean' is indicated by Samson's speech that direct ly follows this offer of fresh apparel. He says: "Thou knowst I am an Ebrew, therefore tel l t h e m , / Our Law forbids at thir Religious Rites/ My presence" (1319v20). The Law, now so precious to Samson, was not held to be so sacred by him in former days when, frequently, he fai led to observe its strictures. Feeling ho " t a i n t / O f sin, or legal debt" (312-13), he had married "that fallacious Br ide , / Unclean, unchaste" (320-21) and, worse than that, he had transgressed the law of the sabbath, one of the Ten Commandments, by carrying to Hebron "on his shoulders. . . / The Gates of Azza . . . / No journey of a Sabbath day, and loaded so" (146-49). These 58 memories of his past unconcern for his religious rites throws into yet higher rel ief his present absolute devotion to the Law of God with which he now encloses himself. It is as i f he had already donned his prayer shawl in preparation for his death, which is a custom st i l l practised today by pious Jews before they d ie . That Samson is aware of his prime offence against God is clear from his argument with the Chorus in defence of his refusal to obey the Philistine command. From the heart of his piety he asks: Shall I abuse this Consecrated gift O f strength, again returning with my hair After my great transgression, so requite Favour renewd, and add a greater sin By prostituting holy things to Idols. . . ? (1354-58) But he is also aware that his physical power is returning and therefore allows himself to be persuaded by the Chocujs to go w i l l i ng ly "to the Temple of Dagon" (1370). Having made this decision, Samson begins "to f e e l / Some rouzing motions" (1381-2) wi thin h im. He begins to see God's p lan, for he says, If there be aught of presage in the mind, This day w i l l be remarkable in my l i fe By some great act , or of my days the last. (1387-89) As i f blown back again by God , the Public Of f icer returns and Samson, with a show of humble submission formerly quite absent from his manner toward Philistines, accedes to his command. Yet in his assent to the O f f i ce r , Samson makes clear that he w i l l do nothing "forbidd'n in our Law" (1409), and asks a strangely significant question that, to the Of f i cer , must sound not unlike the pleading of a coward. This question, "And for a l i fe who wi l l not change his purpose?" (1406), contains a truth which might have been suff iciently paradoxical to please that great lover of paradoxes, the author of Urn Burial; for the l i fe Samson wi l l shortly gain by changing his purpose 59 and by giving up his own mortal l i fe is l i fe in the memories of men. Thousands of years after Samson's "great act" Mi l ton is singing this paean in honour of the hero's triumph over himself,over the Philistines, and over the pagan god. Mi l ton's antagonistic attitude toward paganism in Samson Agonistes does not draw its force purely from the bibl ical sources in Judges 13-16. His antagonism dates back to a Latin verse-letter (Elegy VI) written to his friend Charles Diodati in December 1629, some few weeks after the poet's twenty-f irst birthday. In the final paragraph, Mi l ton writes: " I am singing of the starry sky and the hymns of the angelic 57 host in the upper a i r , and the pagan gods suddenly destroyed at their own shrines." The hymn Mi l ton began to compose on Christmas Day 1629 is "On the Morning of Christ's N a t i v i t y . " In this ode, the poet calls upon the "Heavenly Muse" to help him write verse in "sacred ve in" which he w i l l offer as "a present to the infant G o d . " Part of the present the youthful Mi l ton offers the Christ-chi ld is the almost total destruction of the old pagan gods. And that Mi l ton persisted in his antagonism to paganism is apparent in Paradise Lost where the poet's devotion to the truth he finds in the O l d Testament concept of the one, universal, imageless G o d , leads him to designate the fal len angels as the "Devi ls" to which much of mankind was later lured "to adore for Deities" ( I , 373). In Book I of the epic , the heathen deities are presented as abominable, cursed and obscene. One recollects the Nat iv i t y Ode as Moloch "besmear'd with blood" ( I , 392), Astoreth, Thammuz, Dagon and the Egyptian deities parade before Satan when he rouses them "from the slumber on that f iery Couch" ( I , 377). However, in Samson Agonistes, Mi l ton's disgust with paganism takes a new and more sophisticated turn. 60 In the soliloquy and up to that moment in the drama when Samson recognizes that al l wickedness, his own included, lies in weakness, his sense of gui l t has been growing until it becomes a kind of self-hatred which verges on self-destructiveness. However, the crisis of faith is really a crisis of faith in his personal powers of leadership. Never for an instant does he lose faith in God . Even when he suffers from a "sense of Heav'ns desert ion," the existence of God is never in question. A l l the questioning concerns basic things about Samson himself. After painful probing into the depths of his conscience, he comes face to face with the truth; he is a man who has sinned, not against another man but against G o d . Because he is a Jew, Samson understands the seriousness of his cr ime, accepts his personal responsibility and appreciates the justice of his punishment. In the context of the tragedy, thoughts such as these are incomprehensible to a pagan. When the pagan point of view is presented, Da l i l a , with deep subtlety, first blames the Philistine magistrates, princes and priests who, she says, threatened and cajoled her, then defends her traitorous act against her husband by stating "that to the public good / Privat respects must ye i ld " (867-68). The sheer inhumanity of this att i tude is part icularly clear to modern readers who may detect in Dali la's argument Hitler's Nazi tactics wherein children were encouraged to denounce their parents to the "grave autor i ty" (868) of the SS. To the pagan Da l i la , the idea of personal responsibility to protect l i fe is foreign. No doubt, it is also foreign to Harapha, Samson's Philistine counterpart. However, unlike Samson, Harapha feels no compunction to take upon his own shoulders the duty of doing battle for his de i ty , Dagon. And the Philistine fails altogether to understand how Samson can continue to trust in a God who has evidently disowned him, "hath cut o f f / Qui te from his people" (1157-8), has delivered into his "Enemies hand" and who has permitted these enemies to put out both his eyes and to keep him in prison to grind out his days "Among the Slaves and Asses" (1162). The essential character of Da l i l a , unl ike that of Harapha, is drawn, of course, from the text in Judges; but in making her Samson's w i fe , Mi l ton both enhances the plot of his tragedy and places upon her a distinct responsibility toward her husband which she fails utterly to uphold. Reflections of Mil ton's personal grievance against his first wi fe come irresistibly to mind, but reference to Mi l ton's own resentment must be left out of account here along with other biographical detai ls. Not only are these details we l l -known, but they serve no useful advantage beyond that which Pope provides in the final l ine of "Eloisa to Abe la rd , " "He best can paint 'em who shall feel 'em most." Dalila's visit to the prison is Mi l ton's invention which serves both to advance the progress of Samson's regeneration and to put forward the pagan point of v iew. The motive behind this visit surely lies in Dali la's desire to regain her rightful husband over whom she hopes to have the same absolute power she was able to exert in former days. In his refusal of her offer, Samson denies any future power over himself to this pagan "sorceress." In stunning contrast to the sensually beautiful and mentally w i l y Philistine woman, Harapha is gross and stupid. This heathen, the father of Go l ia th , springs from Milton's imagination. Harapha's cowardice and his insulting behaviour toward a stricken man, serve to advance the action of the drama and to deepen the disgust of the audience toward the unworthiness of pagans. However, that Mi l ton should make the two Dagon-worshippers succeed both in purging Samson of his self-hatred and in strengthening his 62 faith in God , is a remarkable coup de theatre, for when the hero's gui l t is l i f ted his burden becomes comparatively l ight and the action of the play undergoes a sensational change. Dali la's possess!veness, seen in her lust for money and for fame as much as in her wish to repossess Samson, echoes the vanity Browne decries in Urn Burial and which he also associates wi th pagans. Possibly this association of false values with pagans stems from "the main intel lectual problem of the seventeenth century, the 58 separation of the 'true' from the ' fa l se ' . " In their concern to oppose "the ' f a l se ' , " writers may have fel t a necessity to warn against the dangers inherent in paganism, no doubt made attractive by the beauties of classical l i terature, wh i le , at the same t ime, they could advance toward the truth by elevating the Christian re l ig ion. In this regard, the Jewishness of Samson would prove no stumbling block since his God and the God of Christianity is essentially the same. Indeed, the Father in the Trinity inspired the birth of Jesus in much the same way as, earl ier, He had inspired the birth of Samson, and that Christian readers would naturally make the identi f icat ion between Christ and Samson can, just i f iably, be taken for granted despite the fact that i t is never made expl ic i t in the drama. Another possible reason for Mi l ton's anti-paganism rests in John Carey's explanation that the poet's "interest in comparative rel igion had taken him to John Selden's modernistic Assyrian Gods (a new edition came out in 1629)," shortly before the composition of the Nat iv i t y Ode . In Selden's book, Mi l ton read 63 the Syrian Thammuz and the Egyptian Osiris identi f ied wit^j Adonis, and the Syrian Ashtaroth with Venus. ^ No doubt Mi l ton was aware of the close ties that l inked together many pagan deities but, as Carey says, seeing these parallels p la in ly worked out in Selden's "17th-century Golden Bough can hardly have made him feel more comfortable about his affection for paganism"^ that in his youth he had lovingly gathered from the Greek and Roman classics. With the element of anti-paganism in Samson Agonistes, wh ich , though subtle, is central to the drama, the controversial question arises of the spirit pervading the tragedy. Sir Richard Jebb, in his essayon "Samson Agonistes and the Hellenic Drama," asserts that in Mi l ton's "treatment of the subject he was. . .genuinely Hebraic." Parker, in Mi l ton's Debt to Greek Tragedy in 'Samson Agonistes', vigorously defends his contention that Mi l ton's tragedy adheres to A t t i c tragedy both in its form and in its spir i t . A . S . P . Woodhouse, whi le acknowledging Parker's 64 "effect ive defence against Jebb, " " finds the spirit of Samson to be neither Hebraic nor Greek but Christ ian. Cer ta in ly , the problem is a complex one, for each reader brings himself to the contemplation of the drama's spiritual content and takes away largely what he brings. To dispense altogether with personal bias is a d i f f icu l t task but not an impossible one and, since some of the ingredients that have gone into the seventeenth-century dramatic poem l ie upon the surface, they can be isolated and examined. I propose to consider on lyone of these ingredients, one that involves dramatic technique but which is not merely a piece of technical machinery. It is the human 64 element in Samson Agonistes that el ic i ts the reader's real concern; therefore, I w i l l now turn to this aspect of the tragedy. In his essay, "Tragic Effect in Samson Agonistes," Woodhouse asks two questions: "What is the effect actual ly achieved? And is it one that can be legit imately 65 described as t rag ic?" " His answer to the first of these questions is that the final effect is "Aristotel ian katharsis, 1 1 and he indicates that in view of Mil ton's "basic Christian assumptions," this emotional puri f icat ion hardly produces "a genuinely tragic e f f e c t . " ^ If Mi l ton is attempting " to write a Christian t r a g e d y , " ^ as Woodhouse urges the reader to bel ieve, then the effect is not t ragic, but fortunate, even joyous . But who has felt other than deeply pensive at the conclusion of the tragedy? Who has wanted to rush out and ring church bells in a passion of religious ecstasy? Even Manoa's rationalisation that Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail Or knock the brest, no weakness, no contempt, Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair (1721-23), fails to al leviate the pain emanating from a sense of tragic disaster. His son is dead,. and in the repetit ion of negatives, "No th ing . . .noth ing. . .no . . .no . . . no th ing , " Manoa fashions for himself a form of consolation that fa int ly recalls the lamentation of Lear over Cordelia's dead body. "Noth ing is here , " indeed, but a corpse to be buried. It is this plain fact that brings home to each reader the essential tragedy: the man is dead who has been so a l i ve , so human both in his prevarications and in his suffering, so similar in many ways to the reader himself. In his eulogy, Manoa certainly mitigates the pa in , but he does not eradicate the terrible f ina l i ty of this knowledge. Indeed, there are overtones of Christ's suffering and ultimate sacrifice in the 65 death of Samson, but Mi l ton makes no attempt to draw attention to the analogy. Nor does he suggest any form of apotheosis. As Stein notes: "The Samson who becomes a 68 symbol of human hope and virtue also becomes a mere person." Throughout the drama,Mi l ton has concentrated upon Samson's human quali t ies, both bad and good, and at the close it is the human element that takes precedence over al l else. Manoa, practical to the last, suddenly breaks the flow of his contemplative eulogy and proposes to " f ind the body" (1725) and "wash o f f / T h e clotted gore" (1727^28) in preparation for the funeral . In Stein's summary of the preparations for the burial ceremony, he mentions three dist inctly human elements: Decorum, both human and poet ic, requires \_)\ the r i tua l . The return of Samson to God is a return £2^| to his people, and they must, since this tragedy is a [3J^hared experience, not walk away numb and dumb. ' * The first of these elements, the human need for r i tua l , has the effect of removing anxiety by removing choices. A set formula, hallowed by tradit ion and affording rel ief to the participants who are obliged to bestir themselves, must be acted out. The second element, Samson's simultaneous return to God and to his people, is a simplif ied explanation of the complex association of God with the 'House of Israel. 1 And what may seem l ike two separate homecomings—one home to G o d , the other home to Z o r a h — i s , in the Hebraic sense, simply one. When the dead hero is carried "Home to his fathers house" (1733), he is returning both to the people of God and to a place where God resides, for the home is of such sacred importance to devout Jews that it Is cal led in Hebrew migdash mehad, 'a small temple, 1 a place where people gather and pray together. The third human element in Stein's summary is 66 that of "shared experience." Not only w i l l al l Manoa's "kindred" and al l his friends (1730) accompany the hero's body from Gaza to "Zora's fruit ful Vale" (181), but al l the readers, who have participated vicariously in Samson's l i f e , can now join the solemn and "si lent. . .funeral t ra in" (1732). In laying emphasis upon the human frai l t ies of Samson and upon his exceedingly human father, Mi l ton throws some l ight upon the reason why he "added" Samson Agonistes to his brief epic Paradise Regain'd. Published in a single volume in 1671, the two works provide a contrast between divine strength which withstands temptation and human weakness which succumbs. The epic treats of a divine hero whereas the drama treats of a mere man who, for al l his physical strength, is weak in his uxoriousness. Ye t , granted the hero's imperfections, Samson Agonistes is a hymn to the glory of man who, though bending again and again, retains his capacity for regaining an upright position. One of Samson's human qual i t ies, his preoccupation wi th himself throughout the drama, calls to mind the letter " I . " The vert ical stroke of this letter, which points down as well as up, has peculiar significance for Mil ton's tragedy: it describes man's earthbound condition and his aspiring nature; it emphasizes man's upright posture and his singulari ty, and i t can also serve as a reminder of the vertical structure of the drama. However, in connexion with man's relationship with God, the letter " I " has a yet deeper signif icance, for i t is also the symbol for one in the Roman numeral system. For Samson, God is One . And when, in confrontation with Da l i l a , Samson tells his w i fe , " I to my self was false ere thou to me" (824), the hero's identi f icat ion with God is seen to be complete. The dangers inherent in a relationship as intimate as this are apparent in Samson's second speech to the Chorus, when he tells his fel low Danites 67 that he thought his second marriage was " lawfu l " (231). But Samson has learned to distinguish between his individual thoughts and those of God when he confesses his sin to Da l i l a . The "self" Samson refers to in his confession is not identical with his reference to " I " which indicates his own person. In the sense that i t represents Samson, the vertical stroke of the letter " I " can serve, symbolical ly, to represent this human tragedy which treats of compassion as well as of misery, of respect for the elderly as wel l as of personal responsibility for individual fate. Despite the assertion of F. Michael Krouse, that in Samson Agonistes "the force of Hebraism is strong enough to be regarded as dominant, to which view he adds the support of Wordsworth, " my contention is that the tragedy transcends al l sectarian boundaries and speaks of humanity at large. In Samson's ab i l i ty to fee l , he goes to the extreme of v indict ive anger and lashes out furiously against the enemies of his people, but in his ab i l i t y to th ink , he goes to the opposite extreme and revels in the punishment which he knows is just i f ied. When dramatizing these two aspects of Samson's character, Mi l ton is exposing human nature unguided by reason. But Samson is helped to exercise his reason by the Chorus, a sometimes wise, sometimes baffled group of men who offer Samson many opportunities to give his reasons for making various decisions: at first the Danites wonder why Samson should "wed Philistian women," and, f ina l l y , they wonder how the Public Of f icer w i l l report Samson's refusal to participate in the Philistine feast. However, almost exactly mid-way through the drama, Samson achieves a proper balance between the two extremes and, in confrontation with his w i f e , i t is his reasoning power that guides him through the shoals of Dali la's slippery arguments. 68 When Mi l ton is dealing with the man who, "wi th what t r iv ial weapon came to hand" (142), furiously set about k i l l ing a thousand men single handed, he is recal l ing the hero's past. The hothead who tore up "by main force" (146) the Gates of Gaza , who set the corn afire in the Philistine's f ields, is the Samson of the book of Judges, not Mi l ton's Samson. In the tragedy, al l that remains of the incendiary of the O l d Testament is the hero's f iery temper, which flares up when he defends himself against what he considers to be an unjust slur of the Chorus. In his reply to the remark, "Yet Israel st i l l serves with a l l his Sons" (240), Samson explodes with righteous indignation and places the blame on Israel's rulers with whom he has no patience. Mi l ton has subtly transformed the firebrand of Judges into a man who preserves his digni ty despite his wretched condi t ion. The spirit of the book of Judges, the spirit of revenge in a righteous cause, is not the dominant note of Samson. The desire for vengeance is, of course, present and i t persists but enters the tragedy much muted. By far the greatest emphasis falls on repentance for the sin against God and, in this respect, Mi l ton draws inspiration from the Prophets. Indeed, not only is the spirit of the tragedy centred on repentance, an act repeatedly cal led for by the prophets, but in Mi l ton's conception , the hero's character is more closely related to that of a prophet than to a judge or mil i tary leader. In his monumental study, The Prophets, Abraham J . Heschel writes: A person's perception depends upon his experience, upon his assumptions, categories of th ink ing, degree of sensit ivity, environment, and cultural atmosphere. A person w i l l notice what he is conditioned to see. The prophet's perception was conditioned by his experience of insp i ra t ion. '2 69 In this concise summary, the reader of Samson Agonistes can recognise the pattern of the hero's basic problem manifested in the sol i loquy. Samson has been conditioned to see himself as "a person separate to God" (31); he has grown accustomed to God's friendship through the gif t of strength and through the experience of his inspiration, subsequently made manifest in his explanation to the Chorus of his marriage to the woman of Timna. However, in the sol i loquy, Samson feels an acute sense of disorientation; G o d , the hero's int imate, has suddenly withdrawn His favour. Natura l ly , Samson wants to know why. He pours out complaints and, f i na l l y , having worked himself up to a pitch of hysterical sel f -pi ty by enunciating each aspect of his present misery, he turns his face direct ly to God and asks, fortissimo, "Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree?" (85). That the relationship between Samson and God is different from the hero's relationship with his human father has been noted earl ier, but i f Samson may be regarded in the light of his prophetic spir i t , the precise difference can be c lar i f ied . The observation of Arnold Stein, that "ma]or thematic anticipations" appear in the soliloquy (see above, p. 10), can serve as a guide for any reader who wishes to plumb the depths of Mi l ton's tragedy. In connexion with man's relationship with G o d , the soliloquy offers a rich mine of information. In order to understand the nature of Samson's relationship with God , i t is necessary to f ind an answer to the question: In what way does Samson experience God? My suggestion, that Samson thinks of God as an intimate friend is at best an incomplete answer and it derives in part from the hero's f inal question in the sol i loquy, which denotes a fami l iar i ty with the Deity not previously in evidence. However, the suggestion also derives from Heschel's answer to what he believes is an inadequate 70 formulation of the quest ion—"What is the prophets' idea of G o d ? " Heschel writes: Having an idea of friendship is not the same has having a friend or l iv ing with a f r iend, and the story of a friendship cannot be fu l ly told by what one friend thinks of the being and attributes of the other f r iend. The process of forming an idea is one o f general izat ion, or arriving at a general notion from individual instances, and one of abstraction, or separating a partial aspect or qual i ty from a total si tuation. . . .An idea or a theory of God can easily become a substitute for G o d , impressive to the mind when God as a l iv ing real i ty is absent from the soul. The prophets had no theory or " idea" of G o d . What they had was an understanding. Their God-understanding was not the result of a theoretical inquiry, or a groping in the midst of alternatives about the being and attributes of G o d . To the prophets, God was overwhelmingly real and shatteringly present. That God is "a l iv ing real i ty" to Samson is unquestionable. However, in the sol i loquy, when Samson addresses God as "thou great Word" (83), the reader knows that although Samson feels free to address God d i rec t ly , he is not addressing God by His name. Even in the most intimate friendship, unspoken limits are imposed and, i f the friendship is to continue, these limits must be scrupulously observed. Samson can only approach the Deity by referring to the sacred letters of the Tetragrammaton, Y H V H , wh ich , though they cannot be 'vocal ized, ' nevertheless form the "great Word . " However, the hero is not "groping in the midst of alternatives about the being" of the One to whom the question is directed, fo r he has a clear understanding that this 'Being' has deprived him of his ab i l i ty to see. Samson does not rail against the Philistines for putting out his eyes; he knows from his "God-understanding" that the Philistines were merely acting as God's agents. Thus, in the sol i loquy, Samson's prophetic consciousness first becomes apparent. God has revealed himself, not in an abstract manner that can be misinterpreted, for Samson misinterprets the connexion 71 between the "high gi f t of strength" (47) and the cutting off of his hair (58-9), but in a personal and intimate gesture of severe wrath. In his first speech to the Chorus, Samson dwells chief ly upon himself. But the 1 1 1 of introspection is inextr icably l inked with the Other which is above the individual self. Samson's disclosure to his Danite friends makes it clear that he is aware of the reason for God's anger with h im, for he tells them that he has "d ivu lg 'd the secret gif t of God" (201), and in making public this admission of his fault the hero is so ashamed that he says, "How could I once look up" (197). The inferiori ty of his status next to G o d , is fu l ly understood. However, just as Samson now rationalises the punishment of blindness, "which was the worst" (195) of his af f l ic t ions, into a blessing, so he rationalises that the divulged secret is the cause of his having "shipwrackt" the vessel wi th which he had been entrusted. What Samson fails to realise in his conversation wi th the Chorus, is that with the cutt ing off of his hai r , the outward sign of his connextianv wi th God , he has suffered a total severance from his prophetic insight. At this moment in the tragedy, God is not wi thin Samson, though the latter is not yet aware of the loss, and, by impl icat ion, continues to blame God for His fai lure to provide immeasurable wisdom along with "Immeasurable strength" (206). However, when Samson replies to the Chorus's warning against accusing God for an error that is simply human, the hero is led to disclose his most serious offence, his unlawful marriage to Da l i la . It must be allowed that Samson, at this moment, is blind to the truth of the i l lega l i ty of his second marriage, but he exposes the knowledge nevertheless, and when he says of Dal i la that "Shee was not the prime cause, but I my self" (234), he 72 is no longer laying blame upon God but upon his own weakness. Yet he continues to prevaricate, to hide from God or from the t ruth, by naming only the divulged secret and not the prime offence, until he becomes aware that God is now hidden from him. When Samson consistently fails to tel l the whole truth and, fol lowing Manoa's departure, sinks beneath the weight of physical and mental pain, tortured by the "sense of Heav'ns desert ion," one can detect certain similarities between the hero of Samson Agonistes and the Satan of Book IV of Paradise Lost. At this point in the epic, Satan has alighted on M t . Niphates where , dwarfed by the magnitude of the view and subjected to "the fu l l -b laz ing S u n , / Which now sat high in his Meridian Tow'r" ( IV, 29-30), the fallen angel finds that the br i l l iant l ight reminds him of his lost Paradise, Heaven. The pain of happiness gone forever is the most excruciating of al l mental pains and, in his agony, Satan addresses the sun with that same "steadfast hate" he experienced in Book I: to thee I c a l l , 0 Sun, to te l l thee how I hate thy beams That bring to my remembrance from what state 1 f e l l , how glorious once above thy Sphere; Ti l l Pride and worse Ambit ion threw me down. ( IV. 35-40) Like Satan, Samson, too, has been thrown down by pride but, unlike Satan, Samson's ambition to take upon himself God's prerogative is not only unplanned but unwi t t ing. And although Satan, on M t ; Niphates, is in perfect misery, he is also in perfect understanding of himself, for his dramatic soliloquy is an incisive self-analysis. Samson, though experiencing the same pain of lost happiness, is not yet i l luminated by the "Sun w i th in " h im, in Browne's phrase; indeed, Samson is at the opposite pole from Satan's mountaintop where he sees everything c lear ly. Nevertheless, what the 73 brightness does for Satan the darkness does for Samson: i t brings to his "remembrance from what state [ h e j f e l l , " and he recalls how, once, he was God's "nursl ing. . . and choice del ight" (633). The Satanic element in Samson is not, I th ink , purely accidental . Samson's disclosure in the soliloquy that he is "Inferiour to the vi lest. . . / . . .man or worm" (73-4), his subsequent inabi l i ty to be completely honest, and the agony he feels at being "cast off as never known" (641) by G o d , l ink him quite closely wi th the fallen angel during the first half of the tragedy. Satan, too, had known a br i l l iant past when, as Lucifer, he had shone with the pure l ight of the morning star. But these similarities with Satan serve merely to intensify the contrast between Samson's promising youth and what he has made of himself when the tragedy opens. The br i l l iant flashes of prophetic insight manifested in the so l i loquy—the realisation that he has only himself to complain of , and the recognition that God "Haply had ends above his reach to know" (62)—grow dimmer as he sinks into the darkness of total despair. But it is clear that the Satan-element in Samson is largely dispelled with his wish for "speedy death . " A l l that remains of falseness is the human tendency to rationalise past acts. This tendency is apparent in the confrontation with Harapha when Samson argues that he was "no foe" (1193) of the Philistines when he chose to marry one of their daughters. The reader knows this to be untrue since, in his second speech to the Chorus, Samson has explained that he married the woman of Timna in order to f ind an opportunity to "begin Israels Deliverance" (225). However, Samson is human and in his argument wi th Harapha he simply displays the human wish to justify his acts. There is nothing Satanic about this. Nor, one must add, is 74 there anything of prophetic vision in his conversation wi th Dal i la unless one classes as prophetic his ab i l i t y to foresee that any future l i fe with her would be "perfet thraldom" (946). In his resolution to attend the Philistine feast Samson regains his genuine prophetic insight. The certainty expressed in his parting words to the Chorus indicates that , for Samson, the tension of doubt is over; once more he is in communication wi th the Dei ty , for Samson's tone is relaxed and confident when he says: Happ'n what may, of mee expect to hear Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy Our G o d , our Law, my Na t ion , or my self. (1423-25) By placing himself last on the l is t , giving pre-eminence to God and the Law, Samson makes clear his knowledge of the true relationship between man and G o d . The Nat ion and its Deliverer must give place to the priori ty of God and the Law. V . Conclusion Mi l ton 's thesis in Samson Agonistes seems to be that God is concerned with the individual human being only so long as the individual behaves in accordance with God's commands. In order to obey, one must first understand the meaning of the word ' G o d , ' then one must know, wi th absolute precision, what is demanded. Like Sir Thomas Browne, for whom God is "the ordainer of order" (Garden, V , 343) according to whose w i l l a l l creation functions, Mi l ton finds God to be the universal Lawgiver, the ordering principle not only in external nature but wi thin man himself. When in Paradise Lost Adam compares the perfection of God wi th man's imperfection 75 (PL, V I I I , 412-416) , Mi l ton is implying that God is self-suff icient. However, in Samson Agonistes, Mi l ton indicates that God needs man in order to carry out His just ice. Justice is one of the central themes in the tragedy and Mi l ton equates "Gods universal Law" (1053) of justice wi th the Lawgiver Himself. Samson eventually understands precisely where he has violated the Law; his cultural background has conditioned him to see that man cannot take the Law into his own hands without incurring a severe penalty. In the sol i loquy, Samson associates God with His power to bestow gifts; only later, through suffering the terr ible punishment for presumptuously extending the Law to enable him to satisfy his personal desire, does Samson learn that "Gods universal Law" and God Himself are also to be associated. Samson's presumption is the pivot around which the play turns. On ly through his repentance for this sin is his regeneration made possible. In this respect, the tragedy follows the exhortation to repentance of Isaiah. Just as the "great Word" commanding "Let ther be l ight" (83-84), reverberates in the play, so the word of God reverberates in the voice of the prophet as he outlines the real meaning of repentance and, in so doing, outlines the real meaning of Mi l ton's tragedy: And when ye spread forth your hands, I w i l l hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I w i l l not hear. . . .Wash you , make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do ev i l ; Learn to do we l l ; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed. . . . Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red l ike crimson, they shall be as woo l . If ye be w i l l ing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. . . (Isaiah 1:15-19) 76 When Samson first "spread for th" his hands, God hid His eyes and refused to hear complaints; but when Samson made himself "c lean" by imploring God's pardon (521) and by putting away the 'unclean' or unholy Da l i l a , refusing even to touch her hand, God turned His face to Samson and gave to him both the power of right reason and the self-esteem he had lost through his wi l fu l marriage. In his opposition to Harapha, Samson was learning "to do w e l l ; " and in his renewed zeal to uphold the Law— the refusal to attend the "Religious Rites" of the Phil ist ines—he was seeking "judgement" through the strict limits of legalistic Judaism which regulates personal act ion. Samson had never lost his desire to "rel ieve [his] oppressed" Nat ion; therefore the judgement so earnestly sought was f ina l ly of fered, paradoxical ly, by a Phil ist ine. As i t was in the beginning of the drama, so i t is at the end, for the Philistines served as God's agents in putting out Samson's eyes and, f i na l l y , they serve a similar function in providing the opportunity for him to make the supreme sacri f ice. Samson's sins were 'bs scar let , " but by returning to God and by showing genuine willingness to be "obedient , " the sins have been washed "white as snow." Isaiah calls for act ive repentance, not mere prayers; it is through action that Mil ton's hero answers the call o f the prophet. In The Garden of Cyrus, Browne makes it clear that God is "the ordainer of order" (V, 343) in the universe, and, in Samson, Mi l ton emphasizes God's role as universal Lawgiver. From the points of view expressed in these particular l i terary works, Browne and Mi l ton share a similar understanding of God's prime functions: He decrees order and creates "universal Law. " No doubt, part of the "Hebraism" that Jebb, Krouse and Wordsworth f ind in Samson Agonistes stems from Mi l ton 's insistence 77 upon upholding the Law of the O l d Testament wh ich , in orthodox Christ iani ty, is rejected. However, i t is not within the scope of this paper to pursue the differences between Browne's and Mil ton's personal religious beliefs. It is sufficient to note that , in their antipathy to paganism, both men show their allegiance to general truths as they are revealed in the Bible. Ye t , in addition to these similar att i tudes, the authors reveal common preoccupations: concentration on the double theme of darkness and l ight , of visible and invisible; a basic vertical structure for each work both of which are founded upon juxtapositions; delight in paradox, distaste of money-making for its own sake, object ive interest in l i fe and death, and concern with t ime. A l l these elements are present both in Mil ton's drama and in Browne's essays. Also interesting is the fact that the essays each have f ive chapters and the tragedy is divided into f ive parts. Regardless of where crit ics choose to f ind the precise division of the f ive acts which Mi l ton mentions in his preface to the drama, i t is clear that Samson has f ive major confrontations: f i rst, he is face to face with himself; second, he is faced with the Chorus; th i rd , wi th Manoa; fourth, wi th Dal i la, and, f i f t h , with Harapha. The pattern of f ive is obviously here. Also, the shape of Samson Agonistes, whi le corresponding to the vert ical structure of Browne's essays, is surprisingly similar to the shape of the Roman numeral V in The Garden of Cyrus. Samson has descended from the high point of his past l i f e , so frequently recalled by h im, by the Chorus and by Manoa, to the extreme low point of his absolute despair. It is not an abrupt descent during the course of the tragedy, for Samson can be seen moving obl iquely down an inc l ine , the angle of which is no sharper than that of the bank which he climbs early in the 78 soli loquy; his slow ascent to the high point of the catastrophe can be seen as equally gradual. In the slow descent and the gradual climb the Roman V is quite clearly del ineated. Another curious s imi lar i ty, this time between Urn Burial and Samson Agonistes, lies in the tr iangular, f iery imagery contained in each work. For instance, the ascending smoke of the triangular funeral pyre described in Browne's prefatory letter to Thomas Le Gros, finds its counterpart in Mi l ton's prefatory material set forth in Samson's soli loquy. Before Samson completes his first question, " O wherefore was my birth from Heav'n fo re to ld / Twice by an Angel" (23-4), an ascending image appears, both triangular and f iery , when Samson is describing, retrospectively, the ascent of the angel "From off the A l ta r . . . in a f iery column" (26-7). A similar f iery picture is evoked near the end of the tragedy when the Semichorus compares the now-dead Samson to the phoenix, "that self-begott 'n bi rd" out of whose "ashie womb" new l i fe "Revives, reflourishes" (1699-1704). The imagery here is not only to the ashes and the urn-womb paradox of Urn Burial but also to the verdure in The Garden of Cyrus. And the labyrinths Browne traces in his search for truth come to mind when, at .Samson's death he is "conjoind" with his "slaughterd foes" (1666-7) and lies " tangl 'd in the f o l d / O f dire necessity" (1665-6). O f course, the tangled, labyrinthine heap of bodies v iv id ly recalls Samson's physical lust and his l i felong involvement wi th the Philistine soldiery as well as his amorous meandering which had driven him into the arms of two Philistine women. However, in this comparison wi th Browne, the grisly heap also reminds the reader of the image in Urn Burial wherein man's false ideas of immortality are summed up: "But to subsist in bones, and be but Pyramidally extant, 79 is a fal lacy in duration" (V, 280). O f more significance is the resemblance between the urn-womb-heaven tr iangle of Browne's first essay and the identical triangular pattern in Mi l ton's tragedy. Not only is Samson, who represents mankind as well as Israel, connected with God at his birth and at his death, but his relationship with God is the essential, unifying force that guides the drama and its protagonist from beginning to end. Paradoxically, God's presence is felt even when Samson, swooning with despair, feels a "sense of Heav'ns desertion" (632), for in the next l ine the hero recalls God's presence in the most personal way. He says, " I was his nursling once and choice del ight" (633), and Samson's memories of childhood and of growing up "Under his special e ie" (636) reassure the reader, though not, at this point, the hero, that God is concealed in the dark core of Samson's misery. Mil ton's stress at this moment upon the effect on Samson of the apparent absence of G o d , somehow resembles Browne's stress upon the importance of darkness. As noted ear l ier , Browne writes: "were it not for darknesse. . . the noblest part of the Creation had remained unseen, and the Stars in heaven" would be invisible. "Of t , he seems to hide his face" (1749), the Chorus intoneyat the quiet close of the tragedy. But God's apparent absence can be understood as good for the hero at this earlier moment, for were it not for Samson's dark desire to d ie , to give up the self, perhaps he would not be suff iciently l ight (or weightless) to rise in the spectacular way he does. "The noblest part" of Samson begins to show itself in the scene that follows swift ly after this weak descent into the blackness of total despair, in the episode with Da l i l a . From this moment onward, Samson rises to every occasion that offers i tself, and his 80 moral strength grows steadily stronger as his recognition of God's continuing presence and concern for him becomes manifest. When Dali la departs, Samson knows that she was a divine messenger since he says, "God sent her" (999). This alternation between the presence and absence of God , l ike the alternation between light and darkness, resembles the visible and invisible elements in The Garden of Cyrus where the l ight of the sun, planets and stars alternates with the "perpetual shades" in which seeds l i e . While i t would be foolish to strain these comparisons, i t must be accepted that these works of the two seventeenth-century authors show a great number of common elements. That Browne and Mi l ton should also share a number of common attitudes is not, of course, surprising, since men tend to write wi th in the climate of opinion of their t ime. For instance, when Browne indicates by the dissolving Pyramids and by his reference to "the Prophecy of Elias" (Urn Burial , V , 281) that time is running out for mankind, he is expressing a prevalent concern of the century. The work of Copernicus, Brahe, Bruno, Gal i leo and Kepler was beginning to unsettle the minds of men who were accustomed to thinking in terms of the Ptolemaic system wherein the earth was understood to be the centre of the universe. The old way of regarding the world was, indeed, disintegrating. The "New Philosophy" of the seventeenth century 7'A had discovered "the existence of a p lura l i ty or in f in i ty of wor lds," * and this knowledge was throwing into disarray man's comfortable notions of egocentr ici ty. As George Williamson explains when analysing the melancholy of the Jacobean period, "the ancient idea of the decay of the wor ld , which grew part icularly strong with the waning of the Middle Ages," was being reinforced by astronomical study and the old 75 idea of the worl.d'ssmutability was acquiring "powers of disturbing the sou l . " Who t 81 could guess where this new and disorienting knowledge would lead? Perhaps Browne suspects that "the Prophecy of Elias" was not al l that far- fetched; his reference to the brief l i fe-expectancy of the world can be taken seriously. When viewed from this seventeenth-century perspective, The Garden of Cyrus can be seen as an antidote to the disquieting thoughts of Urn Burial , for in the second essay Browne concentrates upon the perpetual present, the segment of time occupying the wedge in the Roman V (see above, p. 20). And the quiet close of The Garden, so similar in its t ranqui l l i ty to the close of Samson Agonistes, may be intended to reassure the reader that , despite man's excursions into the aether, al l 's right wi th the wor ld . Browne's abstract concepts of time in his untit led two-part work are completely different from Mil ton's in Samson. In the tragedy, time plays two roles both of which are str ict ly ut i l i tar ian: time is useful in the sense that the protagonists and the readers need its onward movement in order to learn the precise nature of God's just ice, and i t is useful to the playwright who employs time as a metaphor to enhance the tragic outcome of the drama. Possibly, by being both Puritan and poet, Mi l ton is part icularly aware of the practical value of time and therefore uses this element for didactic and technical purposes. Precision rather than abstraction, and seriousness rather than playfulness are more t yp ica l , perhaps, of the Puritan modus operandi than they are of the Angl ican form of expression, and Mi l ton is both serious and precise when he calls attention to time in his preface to Samson. In doing so, he points direct ly to an element in the tragedy that might otherwise be overlooked. The clock wi thin the tragedy is man's inner clock and, l ike the "Sun wi th in us," is invisible. 82 Browne was equally conscious of the value of time in the conduct of dai ly l i f e , for his friend Whitefoot recalls that Browne was liberal " in everything except his t i m e . " ^ However, in his treatment of time in Urn Burial and The Garden of Cyrus, Browne was aiming at a different mark from Mi l ton 's . Mi l ton sought to expla in, through the example of Samson, God's justice toward man. Browne sought to "wri te something new" and, by demolishing one concept of time and establishing another, he may have believed he had, indeed, contributed something to philosophy. "Philosophy begins in wonder" (Plato, Theaetetus 155D), and, in t h e Garden, Browne moves from erudition to wonder. As Joan Bennett writes in her study of Sir Thomas Browne: "the sense of wonder, which some think of as the prerogative of chi ldhood, was 757 undimmed in him in his fift ies and probably remained so to the e n d . " "Wonder goes beyond knowledge," Heschel asserts in his philosophical study of re l ig ion, Man is Not A lone. "Wonder is a state of mind in which we do not look at real i ty through the latt icework of our memorized knowledge; in which nothing is taken for granted." 78 "Doubt may come to an end, wonder lasts forever." Perhaps it was Browne's Anglican spirit which encouraged his natural incl inat ion to think feel ingly, to seek knowledge with his heart as wel l as with his mind. And perhaps the practical spirit of Puritanism, which simultaneously humbled and exal ted, inspired Mi l ton to elevate time from its degraded rank as a kind of animalistic devourer, to the powerful force for good he shows i t to be in the tragedy. The " lazy leaden-stepping hours" that he speaks of in the opening section of his early poem "On T ime," can be seen in Samson to be necessarily slow-stepping, since they are pregnant with self-knowledge and spiritual potent ia l . The seven hours of 83 Samson's l i fe in the drama are f i l led with the experience of a l i fet ime and, as the mystical number of hours pass, he grows imperceptibly wiser. Indeed, the chi ld wi th in Samson l i tera l ly reaches maturity before the eyes of the audience. The tempestuous, self-centred, conceited young man, who once strutted about showing off his strength " l ike a petty G o d , " becomes, pat ient, total ly God-centred, contr i te, penitent, humble and, u l t imately, exal ted. The vision of success Samson knew as a boy has grown dim amid doubts when the tragedy opens, but before he leaves the stage, and long before the close of the drama, the vision returns in an unmistakable glimmer of divine intuit ion (1381-83); therefore, although the dramatic structure of Samson Agonistes is ver t ica l , a circular motion can be discerned in the pattern of the hero's l i f e . An angel foretold his "bir th from Heav'n" (23) and thus he began l i fe at the summit of the c i rc le ; through pride and the presumption "to give law unto himself, and to depend no more upon God's commandments," he descends toward the circle's lowest point, which he reaches in his wish to d ie. During the course of his gradual regeneration, he ascends the other half of the c i rc le , becoming again united with heaven in his death. And sti l l another circle can be perceived insofar as God has remained with Samson throughout his l i fe ; even when he feels that God has deserted h im, he is imbued with the Divine Spiri t , for he is l i f ted from hopelessness to hope. Thus the circle of Samson's l i fe is enclosed wi th in the circle of God's perfection. Man's relationship wi th God is close at a l l times. The concentric circles wheel through time together. Though i t cannot be said that M i l t on , l ike Browne, encloses the vertical 84 structure of his work wi th in a sphere, in the suggestive evocation of the two circles, the c i rc le of God embracing, so to speak, that of man, one can detect Mil ton's sense of awe. Like Browne, M i l t on , too, is f i l led with wonder when contemplating God's mysterious influence in the wor ld . Browne is struck with radical amazement by the "orderand mystical Mathematicks of the C i ty of Heaven" which he finds chief ly in external nature. Mi l ton is amazed by heaven's mysterious influence upon man himself. However, "peace and consolation" (1757) come to man only through patiently working toward an af f i l ia t ion of the heart wi th the w i l l of G o d . 85 NOTES RIcardo J . Quinones, The Renaissance Discovery of Time (Cambridge, Mass., 1972), pp. 4 - 5 . 2 John Carter, e d . , Sir Thomas Browne: Urne Buriall and the Garden of Cyrus (Cambridge, 1958), p. v i i . 3 Sir Edmund Gosse, Sir Thomas Browne (London, 1905), p. 120. 4 I b i d . , p. 111. 5 Quotations from Hydriotaphia or Urne Buriall and The Garden oft Cyrus are from The Prose of Sir Thomas Browne, ed. by Norman J . Endicott, Anchor Books (New York, 1967). The final number in the incorporated references indicates the page in this edi t ion. References to Religio Medici are also from Endicott's edi t ion. I have chosen this text since it follows that in the six-volume edition of Browne's works edited by Sir Geoffrey Keynes (London, 1928-31), and because i t is both compact and easily avai lable. ^ Frank Livingstone Huntley, Sir Thomas Browne: A Biographical and Cri t ical Study (Ann Arbor, 1968), p. 209. 7 I b i d . , p. 210. ^ I b i d . , p. 211 . 9 I b i d . , pp. 208, 222. ^ H . D . F . K i t to , Form and Meaning in Drama (London, 1964), Preface, p .v . ^ ^ Huntley, p. 205. 1 2 Ib id. 1 3 I b i d . , p. 209. ^ Dedication of The Garden of Cyrus, pp. 292-3. 15 A Literary History of England, ed . Albert C. Baugh (New York, 1948), note 14, p. 618. ^ Browne himself supplies this information in Urn Burial , V , 282. I have checked the count of names in Genesis 4 and 5 and can verify that "Twenty seven Names make up the first story." 86 ^ Samuel Johnson, "Cowley , " Lives of the English Poets, The World's Classics (London, 1906), 1 ; p. 14. 1 8 Ib id. 19 The Oxford Universal Dictionary , ed. C.T . Onions, rev. ed. (1955), see ' Paradox,' note 4 . 20 Margaret Ash Heideman, "Hydriotaphia and The Garden of Cyrus: A Paradox and a Cosmic Vis ion, " University of Toronto Quarter ly , 19 (Apr i l , 1950), 235. Ib id . 22 Sir Thomas Browne, 'Religio Medic i ' and Other Works, ed . L . C . Martin (Oxford, 1964), note 1 , p. TW. 23 Browne's marginal note to "the divine Philosopher" reads "Plato in Timaeo:" see Keynes' ed i t ion, The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, IV: Hydriotaphia, Brampton Urns, The Garden of Cyrus (London, 1929), p. 69. ^ Isaiah 44:28; Ezra 1 :1-11. See also 2 Chron. 36:22-3. 25 The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, eds. Ceci l Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder-,-.rev. ed. (New York, 1970), see 'Cyrus I I 1 and 'Temple. ' 26 This translation of Isaiah 40: 6-8 is that of The Jerusalem Bible, reader's ed. (New York, 1968), p. 1026. 27 The Oxford Classical Dict ionary, eds. M . Cary et al ( Ox fo rd , 1964), see 'Xenophon' (1) under 'Works' (3), p. 962. ^ I b i d . , see 'Cyrus (1) , ' p. 250. 29 Jewish Encyclopedia, see 'Temple, ' p. 1847. 30 Heideman, p. 243. 31 I b i d . , p. 246. 32 Huntley, p. 207. J I b i d . , p. 208. 34 The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2nd e d . , eds. Wi l l iam Bridgwater and Elizabeth J . Sherwood (New York, 1950), see 'Hyades. ' 87 35 I b i d . , see 'Taurus. 1 36 Jewish Encyclopedia, see 'Passover.' 37 Columbia Encyclopedia, see 'Easter.' 38 I b i d . , see "May Day. ' Huntley, p. 209. 4 0 I b i d . , note 9, p. 269. 41 In Hebrew the letters of the alphabet also denote numerals. Thus the letters of the "Name of God" (yod, he, waw, he) are equivalent to ten , f i ve , six, f ive; 'yod' being the tenth letter of the alphabet, 'he' the f i f th and 'waw' the sixth. 42 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, trans. b y C . K . Ogden o n e r ' . P . Ra.:;sey (London, 1958), p. 189. 43 At midnight in England i t would be approximately 3 a . m . in Persia where "they are alreadyppast their first s leep," and it would be about 6 p .m. on the eastern seaboard of America where "The Huntsmen" would sti l l be up in early May when Browne completed his work. 44 Sir Richard Jebb and others do not agree that the spirit of Mi l ton's dramatic poem is Hel lenic. The controversy concerning the spirit of Samson Agonistes is discussed later in my paper, see note 62. 45 Wi l l iam Riley Parker, Mi l ton 's Debt to Greek Tragedy in 'Samson Agonistes' (Baltimore, 1937), p. 18. 46 The Poetical Works of John M i l t o n , I I , ed. Helen Darbishire (Oxford, 1955), p. 62 . A l l references to Samson Agonistes are from this edi t ion. References to Paradise Lost are from v o l . I - (1952)^'© ed i to r : . 47 Parker, p. 19. Ar istot le, On the Western World (Chicago, 1952), see Ar istot le, I I , p. 683. Ar istot le, On Poetics, 5 , 1449 , trans, by Ingram Bywater, Great Books of 49 The Holy Bible, King James Version, Coll ins Clear-Type Press (London, 1934), marginal note 7 to verse 24, p. 315. See also A . W . Ver i ty , Mi l ton's '^msoj i jAgoj i is tes; ' (1892; •"rpt-; Cambridge, 1966). In his note on the t i t l e , Veri ty explains that Shimshon "means 'solar, 1 being connected with Shemesh, the sun," p. 57. 88 50 Wi l l iam Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and He l l , Plate 3 , in Blake: Complete Writ ings, ed . Geoffrey Keynes (London, 1969), p. 149; 51 Abba Eban, My People: The Story of the Jews (New York , 1968), p. 21 . 52 Marjorie Hope Nicolson, John Mi l ton: A Reader's Guide to his Poetry (New York, 1963), p. 357. 53 Arnold Stein, Heroic Knowledge: An Interpretation of 'Paradise 'Regained'-and 'Samson Agonistes' (Minneapolis, 1957), p. 139. 5 4 I b i d . , p. 168. 55 Parker, p. 46. ^ I b i d . , p. 47. 57 John M i l t o n , "Elegy V I , To Charles Diodat i , visit ing in the Country , " in The Portable M i l t o n , ed . Douglas Bush (New York, 1968), p. 50. 58 Basil W i l l e y , The Seventeenth Century Background (London, 1934), p .48 . 59 John Carey, Mi l ton (London, 1969), p. 27. 6 0 ibid. 6 1 Ibid., p. 28 62 Sir Richard Jebb, "Samson Agonistes and the Hellenic Drama," Proceedings of the-British, Academy (1907-8), I I I , pp. 343-4. The ful l text of this quotation is as follows: "Mi l ton 's mind was, in the l i teral and proper sense, Hebraic. . . .When a man with this bent of thought selected as the subject for a poem an episode of Hebrew history, the treatment of the subject was sure to be genuinely Hebraic. . . .Samson is the champion of the Israelites against the Philistines. Jehovah is the God of the Israelites; Dagon is the protecting deity of the Philistines. Samson, through disloyalty to himself, has been permitted to fal l into the hands of the idolaters; and Israel shares his humi l iat ion. Yet , even in this abasement, Samson is confident that the Lord of Hosts w i l l f inal ly assert His own majesty against the ido l . This confidence is justi f ied: the honour of the true God and of His chosen people are vindicated by the catastrophe which punishes the weakness, as i t closes the penance, of His individual minister. This is the issue of the drama—Jehovah has prevailed over Dagon; Israel is avenged on Phi l is t ia . " ^ Parker, p. 210. 89 64 A . S . P . Woodhouse, "Tragic Effect in Samson Agonistes," University of Toronto Quarter ly , X X V I I I , 3 (Apr i l , 1959), 205". ^ I b i d . , pp. 205-6. ° ^ I b i d . , p. 216 . I b i d . ^ Stein, p. 201 . 6 9 Ib id. ^ F. Michael Krouse, Mil ton's 'Samson' and the Christian Tradition (Princeton, 1949), pp. 11-12. ^ I b i d . , see note 21 wherein Krouse quotes Wordsworth's remark that when Mi l ton wrote Samson Agonistes, "his mind was Hebraized. Indeed, his genius fed on the writings of the Hebrew prophets." 72 Abraham J . Heschel, The Prophets, II (New York, 1962; first Torchbook ed i t ion, 1971), p. 2 . ^ I b i d . , p. 1 . ^ Nicolson, p. 218. 75 George Wil l iamson, Seventeenth Century Contexts (Chicago, 1969), p. 9. ^ This remark is a paraphrase from the minutes Whitefoot wrote at the request of Browne's widow. The paraphrase is that of Edward Dowden in his Puritan and Angl ican: Studies in Literature (London, 1901), p. 39. ^ Joan Bennett, Sir Thomas Browne (Cambridge, 1962), p. 208. 78 Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man is Not Alone (New York, 1972), p. 12. 79 Sir Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, I, 3, in The Great Books (Chicago, 1952), p. 3. 90 WORKS CITED 1 . Bibliography Keynes, Sir Geof f rey. A Bibliography of Sir Thomas Browne, 2nd ed. rev. Ox fo rd , 1968. 2 . Works Browne, Sir Thomas. The Works of Sir Thomas Browne. Ed. Sir Geoffrey Keynes, 6 vols. London, 7928-31 . _ . 'Religio Med ic i ' and Other Works. Ed. L . C . Mar t i n , Ox fo rd , 1964. The Prose of Sir Thomas Browne. Ed. Norman J . Endicott. New York, 1967. M i l t o n , John. The Poetical Works of John M i l t o n . Ed. Helen Darbishire, 2 vols. Ox fo rd , 1952 ,1955 : . Mi l ton 's 'Samson Agonistes. ' Ed. A . W . Ver i t y . 1st e d . , 1892; Cambridge, 1966. 3. Crit icism and Biography Ar is tot le . On Poetics. Trans. Ingram Bywater, in The Works of Ar is tot le , v o l . 2 , in Great Books of the Western Wor ld . Chicago, 1952. Bennett, Joan. Sir Thomas Browne. Cambridge, 1962. Bowra, Sir C M . Inspiration and Poetry. London, 1955. Bush, Douglas. English Literature in the Earlier Seventeenth Century 1600-1660. 2nd ed. rev. Ox fo rd , 1962. . Ed. The Portable M i l t o n . New York, 1949. Carey, John. M i l t o n . London, 1969. C l i n e , James M . "Hydr io taph ia . " University of Cal i fornia Publications in English, 8 (1940), 73-100. Curry, Walter C lyde. "Samson Agonistes Yet A g a i n . " The Sewanee Review, 32 (1924), 336-352. 91 Mi l ton's Onto logy, Cosmogony and Physics. [Lexington, ] K y . , 1957. Dowden, Edward. Puritan and Angl ican: Studies in Li terature, 2nd ed. London, 1901. Eban, Abba. My People: The Story of the Jews. New York, 1968. Fish, Stanley E. Self-Consuming Art i facts: The Experience of Seventeenth-Century Li terature. Berkeley, 1972. Ed. Seventeenth-Century Prose: Modern Essays in Cr i t ic ism. New York , 1971. G a r z i l l i , Enrico. Circles Without Center: Paths to the Discovery and Creation of Self in Modern Literature. Cambridge, Mass. , 1972. Gosse, Sir Edmund. Sir Thomas Browne. London, 1905. Grierson, Sir Herbert J . C . Mi l ton and Wordsworth, Poets and Prophets: A study of their reactions to pol i t ica l events. London, 1956. Heideman, Margaret Ash. "Hydriotaphia and The Garden of Cyrus: A Paradox and a Cosmic V i s i o n . " University of Toronto Quarter ly , " ! 1 ? (1950), 235-246. Heschel, Abraham Joshua. Man is Not A lone. New York, 1972. . The Prophets, I I . 1st e d . , 1962; New York; Torchbooks, 1971. Huntley, Frank Livingstone. Sir Thomas Browne: A Biographical and Cr i t ica l Study. Ann Arbor, 1962. K i t t o , H . D . F . Form and Meaning in Drama. 1st e d . , 1956; rpt . London, 1964. Krouse, F. M ichae l . Mi l ton 's 'Samson' and the Christian Tradi t ion. Princeton, 1949. Lf l f f ler, Arno. Sir Thomas Browne als Virtuoso. Nurnburg, 1972. Madsen, Wi l l iam G . "From Shadowy Types to T ru th , " in The Lyric and Dramatic M i l t o n , ed. Joseph H. Summers. New York, 1965. McCutcheon, Elizabeth Douglas Nor th . "Lancelot Andrewes and the Theme of Time in the early Seventeenth Century . " Unpub. Ph.D. Diss.: University of Wisconsin, 1961. Nathanson, Leonard. The Strategy of Truth: A Study of Sir Thomas Browne. Chicago, 1967. 92 Nicolson, Marjorie Hope. John Mi l ton : A Reader's Guide to His Poetry. New York, 1963. . The Breaking of the Ci rc le : Studies in the Effect of the "New Science" upon Seventeenth-Century Poetry. Rev. ed. New York, 1962. Parker, Wi l l iam Riley. Mi l ton's Debt to Greek Tragedy in 'Samson Agonistes. ' Baltimore, 1937. Plato. The Dialogues of Plato. Trans. Benjamin Jowett , in Great Books of the Western Wor ld . Chicago, 1952. Quinones, Ricardo J . The Renaissance Discovery of Time. Cambridge, Mass., 1972. Rajan, Balachandra. " 'To Which is Added Samson A g o n i s t e s — ' , " in The Prison and The Pinnacle, ed . Balachandra Rajan. Papers read at the University of Western Onta r io , March -Ap r i l , 1971. Toronto, 1973. Sasek, Lawrence A . The Literary Temper of The English Puritans. Baton Rouge, L a . , 1961. Stein, Arnold. Heroic Knowledge: An Interpretation of 'Paradise Regained' and 'Samson Agonistes. 1 Minneapol is, 1957. Webber, Joan. The Eloquent " l " : Style and Self in Seventeenth-Century Prose. Madison, T9"68~ ~ W i l l e y , Basil. The Seventeenth Century Background. London, 1934. Wil l iamson, George. Seventeenth Century Contexts, rev. ed. Chicago, 1969. . The Senecan Amble: A Study in Prose Form from Bacon to Col l ie r . London, 1951. . "The Purple of Urn Burial" Modern Philology, 62 (1964), 110-17. Wise, James N . Sir Thomas Browne's 'Religio Med ic i ' and Two Seventeenth-Century Cr i t ics . Columbia, M o . , 1973. Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Trans. C . K . Ogden. London, 1958. r Woodhouse, A . S . P . "Tragic Effect in Samson Agonistes." University of Toronto Quar ter ly , 28 (1959), 205-222. 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items