From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Samson Agonistes

Samson Agonistes

  

by John Milton

Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Chorus gets the last word in Samson, since they've often been the voice of explanation or speculation in the poem. After Manoa describes just how lovely Samson's shrine will be, the Chorus suggests that things have turned out better than we expected. In the end, maybe it actually is possible to gain a sense of peace and calm from witnessing something dramatic tie up so neatly.

But many readers of Samson have seen this nice and simple ending as a little bit too nice and simple for a play that seemed to spend a lot of time thinking about suffering and complexity. And didn't we just read about Samson killing himself and a whole bunch of other people? Why would that ever be nice and simple?

It's safe to say that if you're feeling like something's fishy with this whole ending, you're in good company. Milton very well may have meant for his readers to arrive at a different conclusion than the one his Chorus provides.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement