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The reliance on Hebrew Scripture allows Milton to emphasise a plot that he feels is worthy of discussion, while the elements of Greek tragedy allows Milton to deal with complex issues through use of choruses and messengers instead of directly depicting them in addition to softening the Hebrew characters.This merging of two forms alters Samson from a rough barbarian into a pious warrior of God.In writing the poem and choosing the character of Samson as his hero, Milton was also illustrating his own blindness, which afflicted him in his later life.Samson Agonistes draws on the story of Samson from the Old Testament, Judges 13–16; in fact it is a dramatisation of the story starting at Judges . Samson has been captured by the Philistines, had his hair, the container of his strength, cut off and his eyes cut out.The Chorus discusses Samson's background and describes his various military accomplishments: I yielded, and unlocked her all my heart, Who with a grain of manhood well resolved Might easily have shook off all her snares: But foul effeminancy held me yoked Her bond-slave. Servile mind Rewarded well with servile punishment!(lines 407–413) After Samson rejects Dalila’s pleas, she asks for Samson to "let me approach at least, and touch thy hand" (line 951), and Samson responds, "Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake / My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint" (lines 952-3).He shows Dalila how not to upset him: “At distance I forgive thee, go with that" (line 954).
Samson undergoes despair when he loses God's favour in the form of his strength.He is emasculated, through blindness, because of his sexual desires.The depiction of Dalila, and women, is similar to that in Milton's divorce tracts and, as John Guillory states and then asks, "We scarcely need to observe that Samson Agonistes assumes the subjection of women, a practice to which Milton gives his unequivocal endorsement; but is there any sense in which that practice of subjection is modified by the contemporaneous form of the sexual divisions of labor? A wife is supposed to help a husband, and the husband, regardless of the status of the woman, is supposed to have the superior status.He did not wish for it to be performed on stage, but thought that the text could still influence people.He hoped that in combining Samson with traits of other Biblical figures, including those of Job or of the Psalmist, he could come up with the perfect hero who could deal with complex theological issues.