Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Starling, Jeremiah P.


Blake, William, 1757-1827--Criticism and interpretation; Visions in literature


Essential to an understanding of William Blake is the knowledge of his intense identification with the messianic "perfect prophet," described by the Old Testament prophets, St. John, and Milton, and of the thematic unity which this identification produces in his work. The principles which lead to the attainment of this prophetic role--visionary awakening--and the moment of vision itself are the raw materials for his canon and provide the framework for his three key engraved works. The principles of visionary awakening and the epiphanic moment are outlined in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, elaborated in Milton, and extended to all humanity in Jerusalem. Far from representing a divided man outside tradition, one kind of thinker in his youth and another in his later years, these works represent a single individual, identifying himself with "All the Lords people" as "One Man."