A Gnostic reading of Blake’s Divine Image by Saudi-Arabian scholar

Norah Hadi Qassim Alsaeed explores The Divine Image and A Divine Image as emblems of gnostic thought.

Volume 33, issue 2 of the Journal of Namibian Studies includes an article by Norah Hadi Qassim Alsaeed, "The Divine Image and A Divine Image: William Blake's Religious Gnostic Perspectives":

It is well known that most of poems in Song of Innocence (1789) are contrary images to some of the in Songs of Experiences (1794). Both collections share two states of human souls. However, in some of the poems, William Blake distinguishes them by giving identical titles, as in The Devine Image and A Divine image or by giving completely different titles. This technique in Blake's songs gives clues to his intention to provide his readers with the direct shift from innocence to experience, from the universal view of the world to that limited, self-centered one. Moreover, in these two poems, the poet's condemnation of the tyranny of religion and the Church appears directly. It appears through his depiction of the existence of God in humans through the coexistence and disappearance of particular virtues. This paper will, first, shed light on the parallel between the two poems and how they interact with/build on/contrast one another. Second, it will shed light on William Blake's religious outlook in revolt to initialized Christianity.

Norah Hadi Qassim Alsaeed is a member of the faculty of the College of Arts, Jouf University, Saudi Arabia.

This paper is available at the Journal of Namibian Studies web site. (Open Access.)