"I will not cease from mental fight": William Blake's Milton and the process of adaptation

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dc.contributor Ainsworth, David
dc.contributor Trost, Theodore Louis
dc.contributor Ulmer, William Andrew
dc.contributor.advisor Tedeschi, Stephen
dc.contributor.author Powell, Jared N.
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-11T16:49:19Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-11T16:49:19Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0002962
dc.identifier.other Powell_alatus_0004M_13448
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/3647
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Critics have long pondered William Blake's relationship to his literary predecessors. As both a visual and verbal artist, Blake had a bulk of precedence and tradition at his disposal. Many scholars focus on Blake's relationship to Christian sources, most notably biblical and Miltonic narratives, especially with regards to his epic poem Milton. Those critics often read Milton as Blake's attempt to correct the century-and-a-half's worth of misreadings that had accumulated between the writings of Paradise Lost and Blake's own epic. However, my thesis argues that Blake's use of his sources is much more multi-faceted than the one-to-one relationship between Milton and Blake that this reading implies. By bringing the vocabulary of adaptation theory into Blake studies, I argue that Blake's adaptive method becomes a means for him to assert his own cultural capital and purge his network of sources of their impurities. From Paradise Lost, Blake takes the fall plot and the character Sin-Leutha, correcting and updating Milton to better suit Blake's personal mythology and vision for England. Blake turns an even more critical adaptive eye to Homer and Virgil, as he transforms the shields of Achilles and Aeneas to the garment of the Shadowy Female, criticizes the classical glorification of war, and offers a corrective through a purification of that garment. My third chapter revisits the motifs of the fall and weaving and views them through the lens of Norse mythology to show that Blake's adaptive method is multiplicative in its design. This far-reaching and cleansing process of adaptation becomes Blake's means of forging a national myth of England as a mythic paradise, joining Albion with his emanation Jerusalem.
dc.format.extent 88 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other English literature
dc.title "I will not cease from mental fight": William Blake's Milton and the process of adaptation
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of English
etdms.degree.discipline English
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.A.


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