Title

Selfhood And Redemption In Blake's Songs

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

1987

Published In

Selfhood And Redemption In Blake's Songs

Abstract

This reading of Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience provides a more immediate sense of Blake's psychology of redemption and a more penetrating treatment of the role of death and sexuality in the Songs than is available in any other scholarly work. Pagliaro shows that the Songs not only anticipate the redemption generally associated with the later poems, but also make it available in such psychological detail as to give new meaning to Selfhood, Self-examination, and Self-annihilation, and to encourage the reader to participate in the redemptive process. This is the first book to stress the role death plays in the Songs, and the first to detail the changing psychological responses of individual characters as an unconscious function of bodily mortality. The discussion here of the ways in which sexuality and mortality interact in Blake's poetry is immediately persuasive. Pagliaro shows that Blake understands how the rationalizing mind of the natural man is formed and how it operates, and that he understands what it takes for such a mind to rid itself of error. Blake is unique among the English romantics in this regard.

Published By

Pennsylvania State University Press

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