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Author Archives: annaewatt
In forming a contrary, two opposing ideas or being create a new, fuller meaning in their relationship to one another. Despite Ololon’s self-identification as Milton’s contrary, she does not fulfill this purpose. Notably, Olonon’s self-identification as Milton’s contrary comes in the form of a question; even this status depends on his validation. The question is […] Continue reading
Blake creates his own system of mythology in order to communicate his revolutionary message allegorically. The characters’ meaning and symbolism constantly change through a complex web of relationships with each other and in the context of each prophecy. While his mythology is an important tool for creating his own system, by incorporating Biblical figures into […] Continue reading
Before addressing the trump that awakes Enitharmon, we must first understand the significance of the slumber. At this point in our study of Blake we are very familiar with his opposition of repetitive action, leaving individuals to thoughtlessly follow a predetermined pattern. Within this framework, Enitharmon’s “slumber” represents her enslavement in the dull round and […] Continue reading
We read much of Blake’s work as an attack on empiricism. Beginning with his critique of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ representation of genius as following a certain form, Blake continually critiques acceptance of absolutes. Through this Blake uncovers the contraries constructing the idea of absolute fact, implying that empirical “proven” data is not more valuable than […] Continue reading
A prominent sinister undertone runs through Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper” in Songs of Innocence as the reader sees the Sweep’s exploitation. Though he is forced to work, Tom Dacre remains in a state of innocence, and his imagination allows him to find hope. Without a known identity from his parents, the idea of a heavenly […] Continue reading
A little boy freely sings. He spends his days running and playing, until his mother calls him back. He sits at her feet as she tells him of his calling, responsibility and obligation. Each day he returns to her for these lessons, listening more but thinking less. As he grows older it becomes harder to […] Continue reading
With Sir Joshua Reynolds leading the dominant opinion on art and poetic genius, Blake faced an idea of genius in bondage. Reynolds’ idea of genius is one of definite limits, one whose purpose lies solely in the perfection of the natural world and the communication of physical experience. Art and genius are to be learned […] Continue reading