Study Guide

Book of Judges Allusions

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Literary and Philosophical References

Samson Agonistes by John Milton
This free verse poem deals mostly with what happens after Samson's seduction and capture.

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope
If you think Samson's haircut caused a scandal, get a load of this mock-heroic epic poem about a lock of hair being snipped off without permission.

"Quattrain" from Poor Richard's Almanac by Benjamin Franklin
Here's an excerpt from the poem:

Jack, eating rotten cheese, did say,
Like Samson I my thousands slay;
I vow, quoth Roger, so you do,
And with the self-same weapon too.

Pop Culture References

"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
If you've seen "Shrek," you've heard Rufus Wainwright's version of this song, which mentions how a lover "tied you to a kitchen chair / She broke your throne and cut your hair / And from your lips she drew a hallelujah" Also check out the bazillions of covers that other artists have done through the years. Any of them would make an excellent addition to the Judges soundtrack, if you ask us.

"Simpson and Delilah"
This episode, in which Homer grows—and subsequently loses—long, luxuriant hair, was voted one of the best in Simpsons history.

"Butter in a Lordly Dish" by Agatha Christie
This murder mystery radio program, first played in the 1940s, is about a Jael copycat who murders an attorney with a hammer and nail (the title refers to a line about Jael from the Song of Deborah).

"Samson and Delilah" by The Grateful Dead
As if Judges weren't funky enough on its own, Jerry Garcia & Co. have added their own twist to the story of Sammy and De-lie-lie.

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