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The Four Zoas

"The Four Zoas" term papers point out that literary scholars have encountered significant difficulties in generating an adequate body of criticism responding to William Blake’s writings because of their overall level of difficulty.  However, Blake’s poem “The Four Zoas” presents a unique challenge because of the erratic history of redaction and revision associated with the text. Without a clear notion of what Blake intended to ultimately define as the text, “The Four Zoas” has presented an especially difficult subject for literary investigation.  In addition, Blake’s complex subject matter and intricately designed hierarchical structuring techniques present further challenges.  In a "The Four Zoas" term paper, a student should examine the relevance of the religious symbolism and subject matter and the use of personification as a means of unlocking the code of overarching thematic significance of “The Four Zoas.”

The Four Zoas

In most critical analyses of literary works, discerning the subject matter of a text is an uncomplicated process.  In this respect, Blake’s work presents a special challenge.  His choice of subject matter is often of obscure religious origin.  Blake employs elements from little-known religious narratives along with his own imaginative creations in elaborate allegorical structures as a means of addressing a wide range of issues, from societal problems to his own psychological dilemmas.  In “The Four Zoas,” Blake constructs an intricate religious parable indicting the culmination of the historical and cultural developments that have resulted in the worldview predominant in the 19th century.  In Blake’s opinion, a widespread reliance on reason and science has usurped humanity’s necessary connection to spirituality.

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