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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A way of looking at images in Blake in regard to being clothed
or unclothed is demonstrated by these three images.

In the first is Milton fresh from his sojourn in Eternity,
prepared to undertake the mission that Blake has assigned
him. His lack of clothing is symbolic of his being outside of
the world of materiality which he will soon rejoin.


Second we look at the image of Los, which is from the
beginning of Jerusalem as our first image is from the
beginning of Milton. Erdman points out that the
positioning of the bodies of these two represents a
mirror image. Unlike Milton, Los is clothed. This is the
reversal of what we would expect if we were thinking
naturally, since Milton is a human and Los is an
Eternal. But the character Los, in the poem
Jerusalem, is playing the opposite role to that
played by Milton. He is leaving the material world to
enter the stage where the Eternal drama will unfold.


Our third image is of Urizen, clothed in a robe which
seems to grow from his body as he is entering the dark
world of his own creation. In other words he doesn't
just wear the garment, he is the garment.


From this I understand that the degree of clothing can
be used to hide or reveal the character's spiritual
activity or condition.

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