Antique Lithograph Print, Samson and Delilah


Original lithograph

Original lithograph from 1892, with an accompanying poem extracted from Milton’s Samson Agonistes, and the artist and engraver names in print.

As blindness overtook Milton, it becomes a major trope in Samson Agonistes, and is seen also in Paradise Lost. The correlation is significant to the Agonistes plot: Milton describes Samson as being “Eyeless in Gaza”, a phrase that has become the most quoted line of Agonistes.

Samson’s blindness, however, is in no way a direct analogy to Milton’s. Rather, Samson’s blindness plays various symbolic roles. One is the correlation between Samson’s inner blindness as well as outer, the fact that he believes his “intimate impulses” to be divine messages, yet is never in any way divinely affirmed in this, unlike the rest of Milton’s divinely influenced characters. Samson’s inability to see that his inner vision does not correlate to divine vision is manifest in his physical blindness. It also plays on his blindness to reason, leading him to be easily deceived by Delila.

This piece commands sensual energy. What’s given to us is never all that is; what’s not given is hastily sought.

Solid teak frame; with both sides glass to showcase the art and the poetry.

(Antique Lithograph Print, Samson and Delilah)

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