Samson Agonistes (Version 2)

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Samson Agonistes is a dramatic poem by John Milton based on the Old Testament story of Samson. It was first published in 1671 alongside Paradise Regained.

The poem depicts Samson in the final day of his life, blinded ("eyeless in Gaza") and in captivity. He muses on his miserable condition and is then visited by friends from the tribe of Dan, by his father Manoa, his wife Delila and the giant Harapha. Finally he is ordered by the Philistines to publicly demonstrate his strength which leads to the dramatic end to his story and his life ("all passion spent").

At the time Milton wrote this work he had himself lost his sight and also witnessed the collapse of Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth, which he strongly supported. It is probable that these events influenced the thoughts that he puts into the mind of Samson. (Summary by Alan Mapstone)

Cast list:
Samson: Larry Wilson
Manoa, father of Samson: Beeswaxcandle
Delila, his wife: WendyKatzHiller
Harapha of Gath: Greg Giordano
Public Officer: David Purdy
Messenger: Claudia Caldi
Chorus of Danites: Sonia
Chorus of Danites: Inkell
Chorus of Danites: Greg Giordano
Chorus of Danites: Elsie Selwyn
Chorus of Danites: Valroth
Chorus of Danites: Alan Mapstone
(1 hr 52 min)


The Argument and Dramatis Personae 3:35 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Part 1: Samson 21:46 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Part 2: Manoa 23:42 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Part 3: Delila 22:12 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Part 4: Harapha 15:03 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Part 5: Finale 26:37 Read by LibriVox Volunteers