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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.72 pp.139-155

Mythological Imagination and Creation in William Blake’s The [First] Book of Urizen

Ko Joon-seog


William Blake sings of the creation of the universe and the birth of humanity through mythic imagination in The [First] Book of Urizen. Blake’s cosmic creation is a unique realm of imaginative prowess distinct from the creation processes of Greek mythology and The Holy Bible. In this poem, Blake depicts a wrathful Urizen, not a benevolent and kind God, creating a universe akin to hell. Additionally, Blake sings of the human creation process, suggesting that humans were not created from mud as in Greek mythology and The Holy Bible, but were born as a new race from the diminished bodies of Urizen’s sons and daughters existing in the spiritual world. They show the psychological and societal conditions of the British people at that time as imagery. Thus, reading Blake’s The [First] Book of Urizen, we can’t help immersing ourselves in his imaginative and unique world.





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