There is but one more step from this point: in Samson Agonistes, Milton removes God from his poetic world entirely. The deity is reduced to words on the lips and tongues of fools, for whom “God”—as in the case of the Elboroughs and Vincents of Milton’s day-seems merely to be a reflection of the desires, fears, hatreds, and wishes of the speaker. From divine presence, Milton has come to divine absence, from being with God to without God, from theos to a-theos.