0 14 2012

Exploring How William Blake Views The Sacred ‘Fall’ Of Judeo-Christianity As Triggering A Sacrilegious ‘Fall Of Man’, Utilising The Ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche

Jenny Hollander

Abstract


To make use of the term ‘fall of man’ is perhaps ironic; it is associated with a Miltonic, Judeo-Christian ‘fall’, which has a semantic implication of the sort against which Nietzsche battles when he begs for the ‘death of God’ to be absorbed into society’s reasoning. The sacred theological ‘fall’ of man from the faultless prelapsarian Eden to the fallible realism of Earth is far from how Blake, and indeed Nietzsche, understands man’s sacrilegious ‘fall’ to his present state. Within this essay, Blake will take centre stage, as his poetry and prose imaginatively envisions and explores this ‘fall; most of my conclusions will be drawn from examination of his work. Nietzsche, although immeasurably valuable in his own right, will be used within this essay as a useful counterpart to clarify and assess Blake’s ideas; in some cases he will take Blake’s ideas further.

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ISSN 1749-9771