Category Archives: Proverbs of Hell

Meaning to Manson

Considering the many omitted lines from “Proverbs of Hell” in Manson’s reading, it suggests Manson’s interpretation of the poem centers in on personal experience and differences. During reading “Proverbs of Hell”, a few lines struck me. A few of those lines were, “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees./ He whose […] Continue reading

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Meaning is Created through Opposites

“Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.” The proverb compares the consequences of Law and Religion. In the first half, the stones are being compared to the Law. The stones that construct the prison is what physically prevents the prisoners from leaving. However, the Law is the abstraction that contains […] Continue reading

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Growing Knowledge

William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell” aims to demonstrate the importance of questioning accepted social ideals, as it is the only manner by which new knowledge can be produced. One aphorism that especially stood out to me was the second line: “Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.” The tools in […] Continue reading

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Proverbs of Energy and Imagination

The “Proverbs from Hell” are an odd mixture are proverbs that seem incredibly similar to Proverbs found in the Hebrew Bible it is meant to counter and proverbs that obviously occupy the position of counter to the Proverbs of the Hebrew Bible. One of my personal favorites of Blake’s proverbs is “What is now proved […] Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, Creation, Future, Imagination, perfection, Plato, Proverbs of Hell, Proverbs of Hell (9/18), The Ideal Republic | Comments Off on Proverbs of Energy and Imagination

“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”

Crooked Paths; or, the Longest Way Round Being the Shortest Home

The aphorisms of “Proverbs of Hell” operate on an antimonian rhetoric—indeed, their ideas often diametrical oppose to traditional conception. Such is there purpose: they are defibrillators for the soul, some shock, to stab into the stubborn, sluggish self and usurp pat formulations. Their infernal wisdom is one couched in dialectics. The proverb: “Improvement makes strait […] Continue reading

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Questioning Absolutes

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

Posted in absolutes, church dominance, individual interpretation, Poetic Genius, Proverbs of Hell, Proverbs of Hell (9/18), religious skepticism, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell | Comments Off on Questioning Absolutes

Infernal Wisdom & Marilyn Manson

For next Wednesday (2/14), write a post that explicates ONE of the “Proverbs of Hell.”  Please take the time to unpack the meanings of the images, symbols, themes, and paradoxes contained in these explosive proverbs or aphorisms.  What do the infernal wisdom of these proverbs imply about the genre of “The Marriage of Heaven and […] Continue reading

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