Find a single line in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and write a short paragraph explaining what it is about this line that you find so arresting.
“I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these Ten Commandments: Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.”
This line from within “A Memorable Fancy” plates 23 and 24 in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is for me the most arresting. The demon is a symbol for evil and is infamous for temptation and here the demon does in fact succeed, not in just enticing the angel but also enticing me as the reader. It very much speaks to what Blake was about as well; he is very much about seeing through the eye and finding faith from outside institutions which have more of a perception that begins and ends with only seeing with the eye and not beyond. Blake’s demon points out that virtue is non-existent if everything is rigid. He uses Jesus as the example to defeat the angel’s theories, but this is not the focus which is important because Blake doesn’t entangle his writings with religious institutions. I think the line resonates with me because it is an ideal way to live life, to walk through your existence without going unfeeling, to live on impulse not to directly follow rules. To be guided by experience and emotion rather than guidelines which are imposed upon our lives.
Plates 23 and 24 of “A Memorable Fancy” from A Marriage of Heaven and Hell