Introduction of the Poet
John Milton is regarded as one of the most famous poets of English Literature. His masterpiece Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes earned him fame and honour. His individual style has a touch of sublimity and majesty which is quite appropriate to his noble and powerful ideas.
Introduction of the Poem
Samson Agonistes is an adaptation of the Greek drama form in blank verse, which recounts the tragedy of Samson in his blindness beset by enemies. This hero performed the decisive role in crushing the philistines who were the deadly enemies of his race. Samson, too got killed in that disaster but his heroic act saved his tribesman from the deadly enemy. By virtue of his glorious deed, his named earned eternity. It is rightly said:
“Those who die for their nation live for ever.”
Once the Philistines arranged a grand feast in a temple. The huge gathering included gentry from all parts of the country. A prisoner, Samson, was brought to display his immense strength and stamina through different stunts. Though he was blind, but performed very well and the leaders enjoyed it. After performing for some time, he feel exhausted and wished to be taken between the pillars for rest. He placed his arms on the pillars and stood with his head inclined as if he was lost in some profound thoughts or was busy in prayer. The foundation of great temple rested onto these two pillars. Ultimately he addressed the gathering and informed them that his final performance would be according to his own will and it would leave them amazed and fascinated.
After the speech, Samson started to exert all his force and energy onto these massy pillars. The way he was jerking the pillars, it seemed as if the forces of nature had also come to his assistance and were enclosed in his body. Eventually, he was able to remove the pillars from their place and the whole roof collapsed with a loud rumble and explosion. All the people assemble there were buried alive under the pillars. Samson was unable to save himself from the claws of death and was also buried with them, but remained alive among the hearts of his people. In this way, he set an example of great sacrifice by giving up his life but eliminating his rivals.