Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Analysis

Literary Devices in Samson Agonistes

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Fact or Fiction?Let's get this one out of the way first: following the Biblical story Milton's poem is based upon, Samson takes place at some point during the ancient history of Israel when they we...

Genre

Samson is a tragedy that is really into the fact that it's a tragedy. It even has a preface called "Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call'd Tragedy" just to make sure you're 100% clear about...

Tone

Sad, but true: pretty much every single character who visits Samson exhibits one, if not all, of these states of mind when speaking with Samson. They might show up hopeful, but they leave depressed...

Writing Style

No, we're not crazy. We do realize that richly descriptive and simple sound a little bit contradictory, and we do also realize that if you've picked up a copy of Samson recently, simplicity of lang...

What's Up With the Title?

We totally get the Samson part of Samson Agonistes, but "agonistes" is definitely not so obvious, or common. That's because Milton coined this epithet from the Greek word "agon," which just means "...

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...

Tough-o-Meter

Yeah, Milton's Samson is a toughie. But it has an amazing view from the top. Milton's poetry is truly beautiful (really) but its imagery and language isn't always the easiest to follow. Plus, he ex...

Plot Analysis

Longing for the Good Ol' DaysWhen we first meet Samson, his life is a total bummer: he's blind, he's in prison, his family and friends have abandoned him, and he even feels abandoned by his God. Hi...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation StageOkay, so we're going to do something a little different here. What we think is that—in the grand tradition of tragedy—Samson Agonistes starts in medias res. Translation: when...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Samson sits in prison contemplating and discussing his terrible situation. It's even more depressing than it sounds.But it gets worse, when Samson receives visits from his father, his ex-wife Dalil...

Trivia

While we obviously think Samson Agonistes is a pretty big deal around here, not everyone thought so when it was first published. Why? From the Title Page, believe it or not. Samson was published al...

Steaminess Rating

While we know not a whole lot happens in Samson itself, the backstory definitely has some steamy moments. Samson seems rather too preoccupied with women, and it's in the bedroom where he reveals th...

Allusions

John Milton, Paradise Lost (lots of references to his own previous work everywhere)The Bible (everywhere!)
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top