Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
This thesis explores the relationship between the hero and the reader in John Milton's Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. In Paradise Regained, the Son of God resists temptation through removing himself in mind and body from public experience and defining himself and God's word against Satan. In Samson Agonistes, Samson moves from a private and enslaved state of mind and body to a public and active state. The reader of Paradise Regained is presented with a narrative which creates a divine, yet human experience through a range of voices and perspectives, removing avenues in which to question the text. In contrast, the reader of Samson Agonistes is presented with a single narrative perspective which is concerned with self-preservation and persuasion. As Samson is moved to act, so the reader is moved to support his tragic action. The reader of Samson Agonistes, however, is enslaved by the tyrannically limited perspective of the narrative, where the reader of Paradise Regained is liberated by narrative diversity.
Woolley, Elizabeth, "To compare small things with greatest: reflourishing heroism in Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes" (2009). Honors Theses. 24.