Samson Agonistes

Samson as a Heroic Figure

In Milton's drama, Samson Agonistes, the reader is shown the Biblical figure of Samson portrayed as a martyr of sorts. In the beginning of his life, though he was a great warrior, who fought not only against his enemies but those of God, he was also a promiscuous and arrogant person. By the end of his life, though, he has been humbled through the treachery of a woman, and in an effort to take revenge on his oppressors, commits an act of self-sacrifice that ends not only the lives of his enemies but also his own. Samson's heroic actions appealed to Milton because of their similarities with those of the Christian martyrs of Roman times. Samson not only suffered for his people, but was also given the chance of redemption through the grace of God, and through his final act of heroism, sacrifices himself for the betterment of his people. These correlation's between Samson and the saintly figures of Christianity, are the most likely reason as to why Milton decided to portray Samson as a heroic figure in his work. Though Samson had his faults in the beginning, by the end he has recognized his mistakes and repents, proving him to be the hero that he is.

At the beginning of the work, the reader is shown Samson giving a...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 933 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in