Author Archives: vivalexandra

Is Nudity the Way to Salvation?

This post is in response to the question, “Why does Milton need to ‘go down to self-annihilation and eternal death’ (Plate 15, ln. 22; p. 162)?” In order to answer this question, I referenced the image on plate 15 in the Blake Archive. This particular image depicts Milton standing naked with what looks like his […] Continue reading

Posted in Adam and Eve, contraries, eternal death, Genesis, Milton, nudity, original sin, Satan, sin, The Last Judgment (11/6-11/13) | Comments Off on Is Nudity the Way to Salvation?

Blake’s Mythology- Is it in you?

This post responds to the first question, “Why does Blake deviate from the Biblical account in making Adam and Noah contemporaries?” In “The Song of Los,” Blake depicts several scenes of his mythological characters delivering gospel and religion to various important religious figures. This image of Blake’s characters as the root of all common religions […] Continue reading

Posted in Adam, christianity, Jesus, mythology, Noah, Religion, Theotormon, Urizen's Tears (10/23) | Comments Off on Blake’s Mythology- Is it in you?

Newton’s Revolution

Enitharmon sleeps for 1800 years, only to be awoken by Newton’s blowing of the trump. In order to understand Newton’s role in this scene, we must first understand Enitharmon’s slumber. Enitharmon’s slumber begins with the birth of Christ and ends 1800 years later, at the beginning of the French Revolution. Also, her slumber is highly […] Continue reading

Posted in christianity, Enitharmon, Newton, revolution, Scientific Revolution, The Flames of Orc (10/16) | Comments Off on Newton’s Revolution

Blake, Moravianism, and Thomas Paine: Expanding on Anna’s Previous Argument

For this particular post, I want to elaborate on Anna’s post from last week. In it, she discusses Blake’s use of Moravian themes in the last Memorable Fancy. Anna’s post can be found here: http://williamblakeandenlightenmentmedia.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/blake-zinzendorf-nuns-et-al/ Anna claims that in this Memorable Fancy, “we see a typical motif of Blake’s work by connecting obedience to restricting […] Continue reading

Posted in devils, Empire vs. Revolution (10/2), liberty, Moravian Church, revolution, Satire, Thomas Paine | Comments Off on Blake, Moravianism, and Thomas Paine: Expanding on Anna’s Previous Argument

“Truth can never be told so as to be understood”

I think the most fascinating line in Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell” is the very last one. He writes, “Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not to be believ’d” (73). If we read the rest of “Proverbs of Hell” with this line in mind, we can begin unpacking Blake’s complicated rhetoric. […] Continue reading

Posted in Book of Proverbs, doubt, Poetic Genius, Proverbs of Hell, Proverbs of Hell (9/18), Swedenborg, truth | Comments Off on “Truth can never be told so as to be understood”

Is Experience the Culprit? Sorrow as an Inherent Human Trait

I was intrigued to see Blake included a poem titled “Infant Sorrow” in Songs of Experience. Although I knew that Songs of Experience offered contrary poems to Songs of Innocence, “Infant Joy” was not a poem I expected to have a contrary poem. An infant is the epitome of innocence—he has absolutely no worldly experience, […] Continue reading

Posted in experience, Experience, Earth, and Adulthood (9/11), Humanity, infancy, Infant Sorrow, innocence, Songs of experience, sorrow | Comments Off on Is Experience the Culprit? Sorrow as an Inherent Human Trait

The Corrupting Power of Christianity

          This version of Songs of Innocence tells a story about religious education and its effect on children. In “Nurse’s Song,” the nurse watches a group of children play outside. The sounds of their games and general happiness mesh with nature, and she feels an overwhelming sense of peace at the […] Continue reading

Posted in childhood, christianity, innocence, Innocence, Eden, and Childhood (1/27), religious corruption | Comments Off on The Corrupting Power of Christianity

Satirizing Art, Religion, and Politics

Blake’s inscription, “Israel delivered from Egypt is Art delivered from Nature & Imitation,” is just one of many nonsensical phrases scrawled onto “The Laocoon.” When examined in the context of Reynolds’ Discourse of Art, it becomes clear that Blake is using “The Laocoon” to satirize Reynolds. In Discourse of Art, Reynolds claims “a mere copier […] Continue reading

Posted in politics, Satire, Sir Joshua Reynolds, William Blake's reception | Comments Off on Satirizing Art, Religion, and Politics