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A Hero Ensnared in Otherness? Literary Images of Samson

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Chapter Summary

Samson is portrayed as 'the other' from different perspectives, nevertheless his otherness is neither clearly defined nor are the relations between the different aspects of his otherness evident. Samson appears to be entangled in his otherness. The biblical text shows Samson's otherness as a multilayered picture. In the biblical story, otherness is not restricted to specific figures or groups of figures. Samson's uniqueness is emphasised by his explicit masculine attitudes. Most literary portraits show Samson as superior enemy and also as superior male. Samson's relation to his God further adds to his otherness. In all literary adaptations, Samson does not fully belong neither to his own people nor to the Philistines. Samson remains 'the other', despite his similarities to Philistines and Israelites. Thus Samson is a tool not only in the hands of God but also of the author to address his or her question of 'otherness'.

Keywords: biblical text; God; masculine attitudes; Samson; superior enemy; superior male

10.1163/9789004262362_004
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