A Victim Of His Own Circumstance

1262 words - 5 pages

In John Milton’s, Samson Agonistes, Samson can be viewed easily as an imperfect and negative protagonist because of the mistake he made. He referred to it as “Shameful garrulity’ a blab’ to telling, his wife, Delilah, the secret of his strength. He was told not to tell anyone by God through an angel “Was it for this the angel twice descended?”, and also tells Samson’s mother and father that Samson was going to be this amazing and great person but Manoa and Samson don’t understand why Samson is going to be lost. Samson in a moment of drunkenness tells Delilah his secret. She in turn tells the Philistines, his enemies, and they take him prisoner. As he contemplates his position as prisoner, he fails, along with his father, Manoa, to understand the messages from the messenger, who tries to inform Samson and his parents to understand future events that will take place in Samson’s life. Even the comforts he receives from the Chorus composed of members of Samson's tribe of Dan, who come to visit him, don’t insight Samson positively (Hughes 532).If Samson Agonistes is compared to Aristotle’s point of view of what a tragedy which are a literary and particularly a dramatic presentation of series actions in which the central figure has a disastrous outcome, then many similarities can be found. There are many different kinds and theories of tragedy, starting with the Greeks and Aristotle’s definition in The Poetics, "the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself...with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions” (Atherton 3 ). According to Aristotle, these plays had to have coordinating Classical unities which followed a pattern of having three concepts: 1.) Time: entire play takes place in 24hrs. 2.) Place: The entire play should be set in a single place. 3.) Action: The play should have only a single plot and no sub-plots. (Unity of place, unity of time and unity of action). In a tragedy, the tragic protagonist has to have four characteristics: 1.) Position, 2.) Tragic Flaw, the tragic hero's error of judgment or inherent defect of character, (hamartia), and is caused by a hubris error that is an overbearing pride. 3.) Tragic reversal is when the protagonist commits an error and because of that error, he suffers a downfall from his happy, envied position to suffering and misery. He suffers this downfall and the 4.) Recognition (catharsis) which is the ritual purpose of tragic drama. The tragic actions on the dramatic stage cause the audience to experience extreme feelings of pity and terror that causes a catharsis or release of these emotions (1-3).Samson, who is blessed with superhuman strength, has used his strength to kill. He wanted to have all the Philistines killed because they were not doing a good job in praising him. While Samson is doing all of these wretched things, he accidentally makes...

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