Monday, 25 April 2016

Lines from Samson Agonistes: SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS

Who was Samson and what happened to him? Answer briefly.
OR
What do you know about Samson?
Samson was the son of Manoah, an Israelite. Before the birth of Samson, Manoah’s wife could not bear children. One day a Lord’s angel appeared and informed her that she had been blessed by Lord, and soon she would have a child, but she must not drink wine or bear, or eat any forbidden food, and after the child’s birth never to cut his hair because the boy was to be dedicated to God as a Nazirite as long as he lived. So Samson was born blessed with superhuman strength.
At that time philistine ruled over the Israelites Samson wanted to save his race from the clutches of the cruel philistines, who were their deadly enemy. He fell in love with a philistine girl Delilah and married her. Delilah betrayed him by disclosing the secret of his strength to the philistines. He was captured; his hair was cut; he was made blind in order to contain his strength. While still in captivity, he was brought to the temple of god Dagon. They said that since god Dagon had given them victory over Samson so Samson should be made to perform on that occasion. Samson was ordered to entertain the philistine nobility by performing before them the feats of strength. He amazed them by his show of strength and then took his revenge. However in doing so he sacrificed his own life. After his death his brothers and the rest of his family came to collect his body and he was buried between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had been Israel’s leader for twenty years.

Where was he led to? What was asked of him and by whom?
Samson was led to the temple of god Dagon where the philistine nobility had gathered to celebrate the great feast.
On this occasion he was asked to entertain the great gathering by performing feats of strength. His philistine captivators ordered him “to heave, pull, draw, or break” which he could still do despite his blindness.

 What did he request his guide to do after his performance?
After performing the feats of strength, he was allowed to rest for a while. It was then that he requested his guide to let him lean for a while, as he was very tired, against the two massy pillars that gave the main support to the arched roof of the temple.

What did Samson have in mind when he made a request to his guide?
When he requested his guide to let him lean for a while against the two massy pillars that gave the main support to the arched roof of the temple, he must have been thinking of finding a way to destroy the philistine nobility who had gathered there to witness his show of strength. He thought it to be a great opportunity, which he might never have again, to punish the philistine for their cruelty upon his race.

Write in your words Samson’s address to the people present in the temple?
Samson addressed the philistines that up till then he had performed what was asked of him, as being a prisoner he could not do otherwise. He further said that he was certain that all the feats of strength delighted and amazed all those present. He then added that he was going to show them the greatest show of strength that they had ever seen and that would definitely take them by surprise.

What was Samson’s greatest show of strength?
OR
What did Samson do after his speech?
His greatest show of strength was the last to come. During the interval, he stood leaning against the two massy pillars that gave the main support to the arched roof of the temple. Then he informed the philistines that he was going to present before them a show of such strength that they had never seen before. Saying thus, he encircled the two massy pillars in his arms and shook them to and fro with all his strength. The two massy pillars gave way and the roof of the great temple came down, with a “burst of thunder”, onto the heads of those who sat underneath. Thus he brought death upon his enemy, but in doing so he sacrificed his own life too. 

What was the outcome of Samson’s greatest show of strength?
As the two massy pillars gave way and the roof of the great temple came down, with a “burst of thunder”, onto the heads of the philistine lords, ladies, captains, counselors and priests who sat underneath, all were crushed to death. Samson died too. Thus Samson sacrificed his life and released his race from the cruel clutches of philistine.

Tell in your own words the story of the death of the Philistine leaders by Samson.
OR
Describe the death and sacrifice of Samson Agonistes.
Samson was a man of superhuman strength. He was an Israelite and wanted to save his race from the clutches of the philistines, who were their deadly enemy. He fell in love with a philistine girl Delilah and married her. Delilah betrayed him by disclosing the secret of his strength to the philistines. The philistine captured him and blinded him in order to contain his strength. While still in captivity, he was brought to the temple of god Dagon to entertain the philistine nobility by performing feats of strength. His captivators ordered him “to heave, pull, draw, or break” which he could still do despite his blindness. During the interval, he requested his guide to let him lean for a while against the two massy pillars that gave the main support to the arched roof of the temple. He stood there silent with head inclined, as if in deep thought or praying, and then he addressed the philistines that up till then he had performed what was asked of him, as being a prisoner he could not do otherwise. He further said that all the feats of strength delighted and amazed all those present. Then he informed the philistines that he was going to present before them a show of such strength that they had never seen before. Saying thus, he encircled the two massy pillars in his arms and shook them to and fro with all his strength. The two massy pillars gave way and the roof of the great temple came down, with a “burst of thunder”, onto the heads of those who sat underneath. All the choice nobility, the lords, ladies, captains, counselors and priests were crushed to death. Samson died too. Thus Samson sacrificed his own life and released his race from the cruel clutches of philistine.

What kinds of feats of strength are performed by Samson?
Samson was granted supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as wrestling a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of a donkey, and destroying a pagan temple. In the temple, he showed the feats of pulling, pushing and drawing out some things without the help of eyes, as he was blinded by the Philistines. Samson showed such great energy that nobody could believe or challenge.

How does Samson bring down the roof of the great temple and kill his enemies?
One day the Philistine leaders assemble in a temple for a religious sacrifice to Dagon, one of their most important deities, for having delivered Samson into their hands. They summon Samson so that people can gather to watch. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asks the guide who is leading him to the temple's central pillars if he may lean against them. He pulled the two pillars together or possibly pushed them apart, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more as he died than while he lived. After his death, Samson's family recovers his body from the rubble and buries him near the tomb of his father Manoah.

When, why and how Samson reached near the big pillars?
The Philistines captured Samson with the help of his wife Delilah. They were very happy at their victory over their invincible enemy. They gorged out his eyes to make him powerless and submissive. They decided to celebrate their victory at the time of the Great Feast of their god Dagon. In that festival, all the kings and celebrities of the philistine states around gathered in the temple of Dagon to solemnize the occasion. There they brought Samson and commanded him to show them his strength because they wanted to make fun of him publicly. While performing the feats of strength, Samson planned to destroy his enemy by crushing all of them under that very roof of the temple. That was why he asked his guide to let him lean against those massy pillars for a while during the interval. The guide unsuspiciously led him to those pillars which afterwards were destroyed by Samson.

How did Samson destroy his enemies?
OR
Describe Samson's great act of strength through which he gave his own life. Why did he sacrifice his life?
Samson Agonistes was an Israelite. He was gifted with super-human powers. The philistines were the deadliest enemy of his race. The philistine succeeded in capturing Samson, and they made him blind and brought him in the Temple of Dagon to perform feats of strength. After an interval he announced that he was going to perform the greatest show of strength, such that they had never seen before. Saying thus, he encircled the two massy pillars that gave the main support to the arched roof, in his arms and shook them to and fro with all his strength. The two massy pillars gave way and the roof of the great temple came down, with a “burst of thunder”, onto the heads of those who sat underneath. Thus he brought death upon his enemy, but in doing so he sacrificed his own life too. He sacrificed his life because he wanted to free his race from the cruel clutches of their enemy, the philistines.

Explain the lines:
At length for intermission sake they led him
Between the pillars; he his guide requested,
(For so from such as nearer stood we heard),
As over-tired, so let him lean a while
With both his arms on those two massy pillars
In the lines, the poet episode of Samson’s demonstration of his incredible strength in the gathering of nobles. The ruling elite were not expecting Samson to be the supernatural might. For a short break, Samson was allowed to rest a while. He requested his guide to lead him to the pillars of the roof. He puts his both arms to the pillars which gave main support to the arched roof of the majestic palace.

Explain the lines:
He tugged, he shook, till down they came, and drew
The whole roof after them with burst of thunder
Upon the heads of all who sat beneath,
Lords, ladies, captains, counsellors or priests,

In the lines, the poet has described the scene where Samson was brought to entertain the selected gathering of Philistine nobility. He was given an interval during the display. He gathered all his strength and shook the two huge pillars which gave support to the roof. It collapsed with a terrible thunder. The destruction became a graveyard for the whole gathering including to that of Samson.

No comments:

Post a Comment