This essay proposes that in Samson Agonistes (1671) Milton represents Samson's development of self as a psychological process that is conditioned on Samson's capacity to change his initial Hobbesian idea of self as a spatial construct to an understanding of himself as self-constituted by acts of consciousness. Samson's process of self-constitution is, it is suggested, very similar to Locke's theory of personal identity, published twenty-three years later in the second edition of his An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1694). Further, the connection Milton makes between personhood and freedom is strikingly similar to Locke's understanding of the way in which these terms are linked. For Milton, as for Locke, only persons can become full-fledged agents. In Samson Agonistes, Milton offers the reader an opportunity to experience the process by which Samson develops into person, his choice not to respond to divine call, and, consequently, his failure to become a free agent. In Milton's representation, Samson's failure to achieve free agency results in a violent act that destroys both the Philistines and himself.