Blake and the Bible

Algoo-Baksh, Stella (1983) Blake and the Bible. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Through an examination of William Blake's literary works, this thesis attempts a systematic presentation of Blake's interpretation of the Bible. Following a brief introduction, which discusses the strength of Blake's interest in the Bible as well as the character of potential influences on his interpretation of the Scriptures, the study examines Blake's earlier works for at least preliminary statements relating to his reading of the Bible. It is found that up to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which inverts common interpretations of the Bible, there is little by way of actual reinterpretation of the Bible but that a number of notions and personae which are important in Blake's later efforts to reinterpret the Scriptures already exist though usually in embryonic form. -- The study then presents an overview of Blake's reading of the Bible and suggests that the poet views the Biblical account of Hebrew history as representing the history of Man as a whole and as depicting Man's progress through a series of cycles from a Creation-Fall toward an Apocalypse and Redemption. The thesis next discusses in some detail Blake's version of the Creation-Fall, showing how he radically reinterprets the Biblical account of the Creation-Fall. There then follows an examination of Blake's reinterpretation of the Apocalypse and Redemption, which reveals how in his account of Apocalypse and Redemption Blake inverts or modifies widely held interpretations of the Biblical version of the Apocalypse and Redemption. Finally, there is a summary of the findings of this study regarding Blake's interpretation of the Scriptures, followed by a concluding discussion of the significance of Blake's reading of the Bible.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9729
Item ID: 9729
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 146-152
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Blake, William, 1757-1827--Religion and ethics; Bible--In literature

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