From Honest Indignation to Aged Ignorance: The Creation and Subversion of Law through Printing in the Works of William Blake
KeywordsLiterature--British and Irish literature
Blake, honest indignation, Los, printing, prophecy, Urizen
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractStony Brook University Libraries. SBU Graduate School in Department of English. Charles Taber (Dean of Graduate School).
The thesis explains how William Blake saw the printed word as the main proponent of the oppressive reign of state religion. In Blake's mythology, printing is an integral part of the creation and fall of mankind. I argue that while Blake saw the printed word as something that will spread aged ignorance he also knew that it was what can free mankind from it. I will support my argument by analyzing the use of printing in The Book of Urizen, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Europe: A Prophecy. I will also examine the deluge of printed material that was surging through London in the 1790s, while Blake was writing his prophecies, which caused subversion of the English church and government. I end my argument by showing how Blake used his own method of printing to make The Book of Urizen a book with no definite form, the opposite of the solid laws of God. Blake uses printing, both his own method and the knowledge he gains from the availability of new works, in order to subvert a system that was created by printing.