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 life. We can’t have one ithout the other. Blake challenges everything that is main stream. He doesn’t believe in rules and he especially challenges those of the church. In The Voice of The Devil, line 11 states that “God will torment Man in eternity for following his Energies. ” His contrary says that “energy is eternal delight. ” Evil is the active springing from energy. Therefore Blake is conveying that evil is eternal delight. What he is portraying is that man should not be punished for following “evil”, instead that sometimes bad can be good.
Blake believes that good represses evil energy. He compares angels and devils. Where he views angels to be dull and therefore hell isn’t that bad of a place compared to heaven. In conclusion, Blake pushes many limits. He stresses the idea of contraries and their importance. He sees what he views as “false” as ideas that are necessary to appreciate what he believes is true. He believes that contraries are crucial to man but that religion often pushes rules upon us that are one sided. He uses his ideas to repress those of the institution.