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Samson Agonistes

Samson Agonistes

by John Milton

Samson Agonistes Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. If Samson is really a tragedy, why do people seem kind of happy at the end? Where does the tragedy really lie? Is Samson's death obviously tragic? Why or why not?
  2. Milton specifically states that Samson is not meant to be performed. Does this change how we read the play? Can we still really call it a drama and/or tragedy? Can you imagine staging it?
  3. Choruses are notoriously hard to pin down, so what's going on with the Chorus in Samson? Are they consistent in their message? What is their function? Why are they there? How different would the poem be without them?
  4. Many people have accused Milton of writing Samson without a crux, or turning point. Do you think this is true? Where, if anywhere, would this turning point be?
  5. Are we supposed to support Samson's actions? Is he really a hero for what he does?

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