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Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Samson Agonistes: Love, Authority and Guilt. Judith A. Moses. Pp. 331-345.. Psychoanal Q., 59:172.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Samson Agonistes: Love, Authority and Guilt. Judith A. Moses. Pp. 331-345.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:172

American Imago. XLIV, 1987: Samson Agonistes: Love, Authority and Guilt. Judith A. Moses. Pp. 331-345.

Anita G. Schmukler

Milton's Samson Agonistes can be viewed as a study of Samson's conflicts over both love and authority. These are examined in relation to his capacity for guilt and his establishment of a sense of self. Paternal authority occurs for Samson in three forms: the God of Abraham, Dagon, and Manoa. The author identifies Samson's conflict, in which at least one father must be displeased. If Samson "marries a Philistine woman [or] attends the feast honoring Dagon, he has to displease a father." This assertion of Samson's own authority is a displacement of the parental figure and may be linked unconsciously with parricide. Samson's courage to bear a sense of guilt and to establish autonomy promotes growth and strength, while leading inevitably to his tragic death.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLIV, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 59:172

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