“Sampson,” one of the short stories from “ A Monk’s Tale” by Geoffrey Chaucer is a tragedy that is told as a parable. Chaucer uses this story taken from the Bible to demonstrate a couple themes. The first is that everyone can fall, and the second is be careful who you trust. Chaucer uses this story as one of one hundred stories to show the agility of man to fall, though he was interrupted after only a few. But he had already gotten a lot of his point across.
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In “Sampson,” Sampson is a person gifted with extraordinary strength. He had such strength that he was able to fend off an entire army with only the lift of a finger. God had gifted him this ability, but there was one stipulation, he could never cut his hair. This was not a problem until he fell in love and married an enemy spy that got him to tell her about his secret to his strength. She later that night told enemies that were waiting that they only had to cut his hair and he would be of normal strength. They did this and imprisoned him. Many years passed and one night he was brought to a feast as part of the entertainment, so they could show how they made him weak. He asked God for strength one more time and brought the whole building down on himself and everyone in it.
This story shows that even the strongest can be brought down by those weaker than them. It demonstrated this by having Samson’s hair cut which made him weak, and allowed him to be imprisoned.“Unto his sweetheart Dalilah he told that all his strength lay in his hair, and falsely to his foemen she sold him, and sleeping on her bosom upon one day, She contrived to clip or shear his hair away…”The other theme would be that trust can come at a great cost. He trusted his wife and told her the secret to his power and she betrayed that trust and told others so that they could imprison him.
The rhythm and meter in this short story is fairly straightforward. The rhythm would be ababbcbc. It stays consistent throughout most of the story. Using this rhythm, He is able to bring the whole thing together due to the usage of repetition of the “b” line so often. The meter shows a strong link between the fourth and fifth lines that makes it hard to break the paragraphs in half if someone wanted to do so. This makes the short stories have an almost drowning effect which may have led to the listeners eventually cutting him short.
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