The Poems of William Blake
To what extent is Blake's "Marriage of Heaven and Hell" apocalyptic?
The word apocalypse derives from the Greek word meaning "revelation", lending its name to the last book of the New Testament, The Book of Revelations. It refers to a prophetic vision which, through elaborate and often violent symbolism, signals an end to the current world and its inhabitants and importantly is followed by a regeneration of the world to a perfect state. The violence and destruction visited upon the earth is cleansing, purging the earth of its evils and evil-doers, in preparation of the inauguration of Christ's kingdom on earth. I aim to explore this idea of apocalypse through an examination of Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and discussion of its social, political, historical and poetic context.
Followers of Millenarianism believe that with the evil and unjust destroyed, there will be a period of one thousand years of peaceful bliss upon earth, the millennium, after which the forces of evil will be released in order for them to be banished forever. The philosophy of the Three Ages refers to the belief that apocalypse would follow a thousand years after the completion of the Age of the Father, the Age of the Son and the Age of the Holy Spirit respectively. Famously Adolf Hitler subscribed...
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