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Samson Agonistes

Samson Agonistes


by John Milton

Samson Timeline and Summary

  • Samson sits near the gates of his prison enjoying (ok, that might be stretch) a day off from labor.
  • A group of friends from his tribe (i.e. very extended family) come over to visit him.
  • After chatting with these friends for a while, Samson's father Manoa visits him. They chat about Samson's situation, past mistakes, and hopes for a better future. Manoa says he's going to try to have Samson released, but Samson doesn't want him to bother.
  • When Manoa leaves, a new visitor shows up: Samson's notorious former wife, Dalila.She asks for his forgiveness and offers to free him from prison, but Samson declines to do either and sends her on her way.
  • Next, Samson has a visit from the Philistine giant Harapha, who seems to show up pretty much just to mock Samson and refuse to fight with him.
  • He finally leaves too and a Philistine officer shows up ordering Samson to perform in the Philistine theater.
  • Samson refuses and the officer leaves, not a happy camper.Samson then reflects and decides that he will in fact participate in this Philistine performance.
  • The officer returns, Samson agrees to perform, and the officer escorts him away.
  • We never see Samson again.
  • Instead, we hear a horrible cry from afar and a messenger comes to inform the Chorus and Manoa that Samson has killed himself and the major officials of the Philistines.