I’d like to think more about the role of women in the new Jerusalem, a topic several people touched on last week.  At the bottom of page 200, Milton commands Ololon to “Obey thou the Words of the Inspired Man/ All that can be annihilated must be annihilated.”  Milton orders Ololon to “obey” man, who is the one who figured out that everything needs to be annihilated.  Women, then, have had no role in the process of discovering the need to annihilate.  Rather, women must follow the lead of the “inspired man”.  With this in mind, the long monologue that Milton gives in the following lines is tinged with a sense of irony.  Milton says that “There is a Negation, and there is a Contrary; The Negation must be destroyd to redeem the Contraries.”  It seems that Milton himself has not destroyed the negation yet – he treats Ololon as an inferior being and imposes his will upon her.  After Milton’s long speech, Ololon trembles and “replyd in clouds of despair.”  She says, “Is this our Feminine Portion, the Six-fold MIltonic Female?/ Terribly this POrtion trembles before thee O awful Man.”  Ololon is upset and frightened, and calls Milton an “awful man”.  She asks Milton the same question we have been asking Blake throughout this book – what is the role of women in this new world?

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