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The Alternative TrinityGnostic Heresy in Marlowe, Milton, and Blake$
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The late A. D. Nuttall

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184621

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184621.001.0001

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(p.192) IV Blake
The Alternative Trinity

A. D. Nuttall

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the works of Blake and Milton. It shows that in doctrine there are figures, some belonging to ‘low culture’, who can bridge the chasm which seems to separate Blake from Milton. The old simple picture of Blake as a wholly solitary genius is no longer sustainable. Milton had ventured to present unfallen sexuality in Paradise Lost but it is in no sense a libertine poem. But when Blake tells us that the genitals are the site of beauty, that those who restrain desire do so only because their desire is weak enough to be restrained, that the lust of the goat is the bounty of God, that the nakedness of woman is the work of God, many will feel that such violent affirmation of sexuality is distinctively modern, inconceivable before the Romantic movement, having no warrant in Milton's century and certainly none in the early years of the Christian era.

Keywords:   William Blake, Milton, Paradise Lost, sexuality

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