Idea of negation and contrary progression in Blake
Sabri-Tabrizi, G. R.
This thesis consists of two parts. The first pert is a detailed study of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell in the context of Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell and the social background of the eighteenth century. It has five chapters, in the first of which an attempt has been made to sketch an outline of social cohditions and relationship in eighteenth century England. There are two reasons for doing this. First, Blake's writings reflect his contemporary social conditions an class conflict. When he attacks Swedenborg, Newton and Locke, for example, he is indeed attacking as most radical and romantic writers did, the whole social order that they formed and represented. From the evidence thus obtained one may conclue that Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Swedenborg's' Heaven and Hell must be studied in this social context. 'Heaven' and 'Hell' are not abstract terms. They represent social conditions. 'Heaven' represents the rich and propertied or higher clerical class epitomised by Swedenborg in conflict with 'Hell' which represents the poor and working class epitomised by Blake. Those who are in 'Heaven' are called Angels, and those in 'Hell' Devils. Secondly, Heaven and Hell and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell reflect two contrasting philosophies, two types of social outlook and literature in defence of two opposing interests. Chapter Two shows first that The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is essentially written as moral criticism of Swedenborg's social system, that 'The Argument' in The Marragae refers to Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell and that Rintrah represents Swedenborg as a passive and fallen character who punishes the 'just' man in himself and people in 'Hell'.