Samson Agonistes

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John Milton 1671
  • 00 - The Preface. The Argument. The Persons.
  • 01 - "A little onward lend thy guiding hand..."
  • 02 - "Your coming, friends, revives me..."
  • 03 - "Brethren and men of Dan..."
  • 04 - "Be penitent and for thy fault contrite..."
  • 05 - "With doubtful feet and wavering resolution..."
  • 06 - "How cunningly the sorceress displays..."
  • 07 - "She's gone, a manifest Serpent..."
  • 08 - "I know no Spells, use no forbidden Arts..."
  • 09 - "Oh how comely it is and how reviving..."
  • 10 - "Peace with you brethren..."
  • 11 - "Occasions drew me early to this city..."
“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)

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