Contratries in Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Topics: William Blake, Paradise Lost, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Pages: 4 (1345 words) Published: March 29, 2007
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
In religion and ethics, evil refers to the morally objectionable aspects of the behavior and reasoning of human beings — those that are deliberately void of conscience, and show a wanton penchant for destruction. In addition, evil is sometimes defined as the absence of good, which could and should be present; the absence of which is a void in what should be. Though the idea of evil is thought to be troubling, William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell offers an alternative approach on dealing with suffering in the world, while also challenging orthodox Christian beliefs. To begin with, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is an overall study of contradictions. Without these contradictions, Blake believes that there is no progression. Blake begins early in the work to establish these inconsistencies and to him all the contradictions can basically be expressed in one contradiction that encompasses all others: good versus evil. "Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell." Blake states that "contraries" are crucial to the existence of man, but religion has polarized Man's dual qualities, using one side of his nature to repress the other; Christian "good" represses "evil" energy. Blake expresses this idea in several ways. It is the Devils that are witty, exciting, and always seem to have wise things to say, where as the Angels are dull. Thus, hell isn't that bad of a place compared to an awful heaven, just as expressed in the fourth "Memorable Fancy". Blake turns the traditional Christian image of fire as punishment and suffering upside down and thereby taking it back as an image of energy rather than fear. He writes of "walking among the fires of hell, delighted with the...
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