Samson Agonistes "Calm Of Mind All Passion Spent"
by John Milton

Start Your Free Trial

Download Samson Agonistes Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"Calm Of Mind All Passion Spent"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This is the last line of the play, spoken by the Chorus as they close the drama with their comments. Samson, having first set aside temptations, like Christ in the wilderness, has fulfilled the greatness foretold for him by an angel before his birth. Samson has destroyed the flower of the Philistine nobility by pulling the roof and walls of an amphitheater upon his enemies. But Samson himself is dead, too, unavoidably caught in the destruction he has caused. The Chorus now agrees, as Samson had to discover for himself, that the divine will is always correct, that man questions God's wisdom because man knows so little. This line is often quoted as a description of the Aristotelian katharsis or purification of the emotions.


CHORUS
All is best, though we oft doubt,
What the unsearchable dispose
Of highest wisdom brings about,
And ever best found in the close.
. . .
His servants he with new acquist
Of true experience from this great event
With peace and consolation hath dismissed,
And calm of mind all passion spent.
. . .