Samson was a culture hero for the Puritan revolution, held up as a spiritual model by the preachers. Samson Agonistes expresses the central values of that revolution. Samson is an active hero with a divine vocation who eschews the idle life represented by Dalila, just as the Puritan middle class rejected the leisure values of the aristocracy. Samson's vocation, like those of many seventeenth-century Puritans, is military and revolutionary. He is fighting on God's side in a cosmic war against Satan, whose battlefield is not only in the soul but in the political terrain of England. His vocation is to free the Israelites from the oppression of the Philistines, just as the New Model Army believed it had a divine calling to free England from the demonic tyranny of Charles I. The contrast between Samson and Harapha reflects the development of a new kind of soldier armed with the advantages of internal discipline. On the spiritual level Samson battles against self-doubt to that same faith in providence which enabled men like Cromwell to lead a new class to power.

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