Samson Agonistes

John Milton (1608 - 1674)

“The Sun to me is dark
And silent as the Moon,
When she deserts the night
Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.”

Milton composes his last extended work as a tragedy according to the classical Unities of Time, Place and Action. Nevertheless it “never was intended for the stage” and is here declaimed by a single reader.

Samson the blinded captive, in company with the Chorus of friends and countrymen, receives his visitors on their varying missions and through them his violent story is vividly recalled. Then he is summoned to give a final demonstration of God-given strength to entertain the Philistines, his captors. Famously – and of course, offstage – his performance brings the house down. (Summary by Martin Geeson)

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Tragedy, Narratives

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 00 - The Preface. The Argument. The Persons. Martin Geeson
Play 01 01 - "A little onward lend thy guiding hand..." Martin Geeson
Play 02 02 - "Your coming, friends, revives me..." Martin Geeson
Play 03 03 - "Brethren and men of Dan..." Martin Geeson
Play 04 04 - "Be penitent and for thy fault contrite..." Martin Geeson
Play 05 05 - "With doubtful feet and wavering resolution..." Martin Geeson
Play 06 06 - "How cunningly the sorceress displays..." Martin Geeson
Play 07 07 - "She's gone, a manifest Serpent..." Martin Geeson
Play 08 08 - "I know no Spells, use no forbidden Arts..." Martin Geeson
Play 09 09 - "Oh how comely it is and how reviving..." Martin Geeson
Play 10 10 - "Peace with you brethren..." Martin Geeson
Play 11 11 - "Occasions drew me early to this city..." Martin Geeson