Blakes Contraries

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Yalitza Rufino
ENG 102.7460
Professor Colleran
Paper 2

Blake’s Idea of Contraries

William Blake’s poems were created to show the two contrary states. In his poems, he is constantly going against and challenging the rules of institutions, in specific the church. In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Blake shows his theory of contraries with his use of symbols of angels and devils, good and evil, and especially the comparison between heaven and hell. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a collection of contradictions, and without these contradictions Blake believes that there is no progression.

“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate are necessary to human existence.” (MHH lines 8-10) The essence to Blake’s theory is that it is necessary for innocence and experience to coexist within a person, that both good and evil are necessary for progression to occur. Line 8 is the purpose of the poem: “Without contraries is no progression.” Religion almost always separates, religion says that the soul is separate from the body, and that the soul is good while the body is evil. The passive people will go to heaven while the “active” people will go to hell. We see this in line 12 of the poem: “Good is the passive that obeys reason, Evil is the active springing from energy. Good is heaven, Evil is hell.” The idea of when your body goes to heaven and your soul lives on or goes to heaven or hell is wrong according to Blake.

Blake argues that humans aren’t born naturally good, but maybe they are born with the potential to be both good and evil. He rejects the idea that we can only be one or the other; either good or bad. Blake always wants us to see the two states of nature. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, The Songs of Innocence and of Experience, He is always comparing two opposites. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate. All of these are necessary to our existence and to help us grow in...
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