Blake and Milton: Paradise Reloaded, by Jackie DiSalvo

Prophecy and Class Consciousness

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Behind Blake’s particular conception of prophecy there is another which arises from Milton’s but goes beyond it. Henry Parker had enunciated it in the Puritan revolution when he proclaimed that “vox populi was ever reverenced as Vox Dei”. This tradition was related also to a belief that “God hath chosen the weak things of this world to confound the things that are mighty” (1. Cor). When Milton interprets this text, as in his Treatise of Civil Power, it becomes a metaphor, a contrast between a laity’s conscience and the political authority of a state church.

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Blake’s attack on State Religion and Encoded Authority, by Saree Makdisi

Antinomianism, Patriarchy, and De-Coding the Matrix

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No matter what difficulties he may have had with the Enlightenment discourse of liberty, Blake had no hesitation whatsoever in joining the radical attack on the patriarchal institutions of state religion and the political authority of the government: it is of course the established church where the little chimney sweeper’s parents “are gone to praise God & his Priest & King,/Who make up a heaven of our misery.”

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