In Plates 17 and 18, lines 37-39, 1-11 (p. 106), why does Los prepare for epic war along with Orc, who arrives with “furious terrors” and “golden chariots”? Explain the significance of this cosmic battle for Blake’s prophetic vision of Europe.

In Blake’s poems from, “Europe a Prophecy,” various references of biblical nature are adapted and sequenced in a manner of social and political commentary (on the revolution, feminism, and religion). Los, as we have come to understand, is the creator of Mankind, therefore, philosophy is of imagination, poetry, and freedom. In addition, Orc is the son of Los, as well as the representation of the Revolution itself in a material world. Such a cosmic battle arises from the oppression of religious (and female). In essence, the dual meaning of the war rising with “furious terrors” reflecting on the American Revolution and therefore, France’s Revolution.

Europe within itself has accosted with the oppression of religious dogmas that limit the ability for Los to flourish within its society. Including, instability within European traditional rule specifically France, creates tension. Allowing, for an eruption of Orc (revolution) to take place against the Age of Reason, when such institutions limit Los freedom of expression. Therefore, it is necessary that the progression of dual spheres interact with one another in order to create two sides of the same coin. Singularity knowledge cannot be knowledge, therefore breeding of imagination is necessary for the true acquirement of multiple singularities within a semblance only created through freedom that exists within  Los.

In this interpretive stance, Blake’s vision of Europe may be to extend from the oppression pervading within society and deconstruct the very foundations that create binary ideologies. Including, to allow for freedom of expression within multiplicities of ideologies, perspectives, and peoples.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera