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Poem 01 Samson Agonistes


Q.1 Who is the poet of the poem “ Samson Agonistes”? What do you know about him?

Ans)The poet of the poem “Samson Agonistes” is John Milton (1608-1674). He was born in London, the son of a well-to-do law-scrivener. He studied for seven years at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he gained a high reputation as a classical scholar. Milton’s verse is in some respects, outside the main tradition of English poetry.

Q.2 Give a brief introduction of the poem “Samson Agonistes”.

Ans)The poem Lines from Samson Agonistes is derived from John Milton’s great poetic drama describes the death of its hero, Samson. He was a man of immense strength but had been taken captive, through the treachery of his wife, by the Philistine, the deadly enemy of his race. The passage in the poem describes, Samson saved his people by using his strength to kill the Philistine leaders, but in bringing down the roof of a great temple upon the heads of those assembled there, and he sacrificed his own life at the same time.

Q.3 Why has the word “Agonistes” been used in the poem?

The word “Agonistes” has been used in the poem to show that Samson was a great athlete or a wrestler.

Q.4 Write a few lines about the character of Samson.

Ans)Samson is a great hero in John Milton’s poem “Samson Agonistes”. He is blessed with superhuman strength so he appears as a wrestler and shows the tricks of his physical strength. Once he is captured by the Philistines. He is brought to a place to show his power. He pulls the pillars of the building, sacrifices his own life but kills the enemies of his tribe.

Q.5 What was Samson’s request to his guide during the intermission?

Ans)Samson showed different feats(action that needs skill, strength or courage) of his superhuman strength on the command of the Philistines. When interval was announced and the guards led him, away Samson requested his guide to let him take rest because he was much tired or he had some tricks in his mind.

Q.6 How did Samson behave when the guards allowed him to take rest between the pillars?

Ans)Samson stood between the pillars silently when the guards allowed him to take rest there. The Philistine had made him blind so he felt the pillars by touching them. He behaved as if he was going to offer his prayer or thinking about some serious matter.

Q.7 How did Samson address to the Lords of Philistines when he was standing between the two massive pillars?

Ans)After taking some rest between the two massive pillars, which were supporting the roof of the building, Samson raised his head and addressed to the Lords of Philistines. He said that he carried their orders and showed them some feats of his strength, which would amaze everybody. Then he wished to perform some tricks by his own choice.

Q.8 How did Samson take revenge upon his enemies?

Ans)John Milton has described in the poem “Samson Agonistes” the heroic death of the great warrior and believer, Samson. The great hero was made a prisoner by his deadly enemies the Philistines, through the treachery of his wife. They made him blind and took him to their central temple where they had arranged the ceremony of victory. Samson showed them tricks of his immense physical strength gifted to him by God. After that, he used the amazing power to destroy the temple. A large number of enemies got killed in that disaster. In this story, Samson took revenge from them.

“Those who die for some noble cause, live forever”


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