restricted access The Political Messages of Samson Agonistes

This essay argues against the view that in Samson Agonistes Milton aimed to leave readers in doubt about Samson's heroism. It explains the shortcomings of the three arguments most often made in favor of that view: the argument from source modification, the argument from multiple traditions, and the argument from contrast with Christ. Its final section considers whether it is anachronistic to call Samson Agonistes a work in praise of terrorism.