Samson Agonistes

Read by Martin Geeson

(4.4 stars; 17 reviews)

“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) (2 hr 37 min)


00 - The Preface. The Argument. The Persons. 10:39 Read by Martin Geeson
01 - "A little onward lend thy guiding hand..." 15:23 Read by Martin Geeson
02 - "Your coming, friends, revives me..." 11:32 Read by Martin Geeson
03 - "Brethren and men of Dan..." 14:36 Read by Martin Geeson
04 - "Be penitent and for thy fault contrite..." 18:38 Read by Martin Geeson
05 - "With doubtful feet and wavering resolution..." 7:39 Read by Martin Geeson
06 - "How cunningly the sorceress displays..." 15:09 Read by Martin Geeson
07 - "She's gone, a manifest Serpent..." 12:23 Read by Martin Geeson
08 - "I know no Spells, use no forbidden Arts..." 11:02 Read by Martin Geeson
09 - "Oh how comely it is and how reviving..." 13:55 Read by Martin Geeson
10 - "Peace with you brethren..." 13:24 Read by Martin Geeson
11 - "Occasions drew me early to this city..." 13:32 Read by Martin Geeson



(4.5 stars)

A thoughtful and unique re-telling of the story of Samson. The imaginative conversational mode immerses the listener in Samson's grief and agony, yet we glory with him in his final triumph. The continued referrals to his blindness are, no doubt, somewhat autobiographical in nature. The only shortcomingof the reading is that occasionally, we lose track of who is speaking, but this is minor. Initially I thought that the reader was overly dramatic, but I quickly discerned that the Shakespearean reading was perfect.