Category Archives: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“The wounds of Christ are a WHAT????”

Chris Ingle Moravian beliefs look at the wounds of Christ in quite a unique way, similar to how Blake looks at life and religion. Knowing now that his own mother was at the very least influenced by Moravian beliefs, if not a follower herself,makes total sense when we look at Blake’s work in “The Marriage […] Continue reading

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The Procreation and Rebirth of the Sinner

The Morovian teachings Blake was exposed to had an emphasized the production of knowledge, and in turn life, through bodily means. According to Marsha Keith Schuchard in “Young William Blake and the Moravian Tradition of Visionary Art,” Morovians believed “new souls [are] birthed [from] the gushing blood” of Jesus’ crucifixion wounds, since the phallic nails penetrate the […] Continue reading

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Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

William Blake’s 8th proverb of Hell, in which he explores the acquisition of wisdom through an authority figure uses contrasting animal symbols of wisdom and meekness to show how information is controlled by those in power and backed by a false religious ideology. Although speaking in the voice of Satan, Blake brings up provoking and […] Continue reading

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Why so many “Moravian” animals?

This post is a response to the previous post’s fourth question,  ”Does the line ‘The Tigers couch upon the prey & suck the ruddy tide’ (Europe 18/15:7; page 106) allude to a Moravian view of Christianity or, literally, to images of fearful tigers in other Blake poems (such as ‘The Tyger’ for instance)?” Firstly, why […] Continue reading

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Seemingly Never-Ending Chaos; or, Blake the Anarchist?

In class on Wednesday, I had difficultly reconciling the apocalyptic revolution depicted in “A Song of Liberty” with its abrupt, triumphant ending. The poem’s allusions to the Book of Revelation notwithstanding, “Empire is no more! and now the lion & the wolf shall cease” is a very simplistic resolution to the violence, conflict and chaos of […] Continue reading

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“The most sublime act is to set another before you.”

I chose this proverb because it is very incongruous with the Proverbs of Hell. If, as a footnote in our Norton Critical Edition explicates, the proverbs are “nuggets of infernal wisdom [that] counter the prudent ‘heavenly’ Proverbs of the Hebrew Bible,” then why would Blake include a proverb that sounds so like a biblical one? […] 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

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