Symbol and Image in William Blake

By George Wingfield Digby | Go to book overview

Although they may become more and more obscure and tenuous the farther he sinks into the meshes of maya, yet the threads are always there and they do not break. The compassion of the "'Daughters of Beulah'" endures, as does man's capacity for acceptance and assimilation.


EPILOGUE

The Epilogue is addressed to the Accuser, Satan:

To The Accuser who is
The God of This World.

The Epilogue reads (first stanza):

Truly My Satan thou art but a Dunce
And dost not know the Garment from the Man
Every Harlot was a Virgin once
Nor canst thou ever change Kate into Nan
.

The individual, says Blake, is not the same as the state in which he is. Man passes through states, in the course of experience, as he puts on or changes his clothes.1 The Accuser who holds him responsible to a moral law is the God of society, of This World. This may be necessary for society and these laws may be in order from the point of view of social organization, but from the point of view of the individual this affords no help and it offers him no solution. The individual has to realize that the forces of life, whether they manifest as good or evil, eternally endure. His realization must transcend This World with its moral codes and ideals.

The Epilogue concludes (second stanza):

Tho' thou art Worship'd by the Names Divine
Of Jesus & Jehovah: thou art still
The Son of Morn in weary Night's decline
The lost Traveller's Dream under the Hill
.

____________________
1
See A Vision of the Last Judgment ( Keynes edition), vol. iii, p. 148 (which is p. 80 of the Rossetti MS.); also p. 149 (Rossetti MS., pp. 76-77). Compare Milton, plate 35.

-52-

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Symbol and Image in William Blake
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Illustrations (At End) xi
  • Introduction xv
  • The Gates of Paradise for the Sexes 1
  • I - The Gates of Paradise 5
  • Epilogue 52
  • II - The Arlington Court Picture: Regeneration 54
  • III - On the Understanding of Blake's Art 94
  • Notes 128
  • Select Bibliography 130
  • Addendum 133
  • Index of Quotations from Blake 135
  • General Index 137
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