Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY

With eyes gouged out and arms fettered in bronze chains, Samson languishes in a Philistine prison in Gaza, in this 1912 painting by German artist Lovis Corinth. Corinth, who had suffered a stroke in 1911, saw Samson’s blindness as a metaphor for his own helplessness and pain. Other artists and writers—including the English poet John Milton, who set most of his 1671 poetic drama Samson Agonistes in the prison—have turned Samson’s imprisonment into a scene of soul-searching and repentance. As a last temptation for Samson to overcome, Milton has the wicked Delilah visit him behind bars and pretend to beg his forgiveness. Blind at last to her charms, Samson resists her trickery.