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Author Moskal, Jeanne.

Title Blake, ethics, and forgiveness / Jeanne Moskal
Published Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, [1994]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xiv, 226 pages) : illustrations
Contents Forgiveness "Written within & without" law -- Error and forgiveness -- States and individuals -- Alterity and the spectre of urthona -- Forgiveness in "The house of the interpreter" -- Conclusion: forgiveness and literary form
Summary Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness is the first book systematically to examine the ethical commitments and contradictions in William Blake's pervasive concern with human forgiveness. Primary among these ethical commitments is Blake's passionate advocacy of forgiveness between human beings as a means to solve the problem of human evil. Such an advocacy seems to contradict Blake's assertions that ethical laws merely create the illusion of human evil and employ the concept of "forgiveness" solely to reinforce the terms of the original oppression. Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness clarifies the relation between these two seemingly contradictory ethical impulses in Blake by employing a distinction increasingly important among contemporary ethicists, a distinction between an ethics of obligation and an ethics of character. It demonstrates that Blake's protests are directed to laws based on obligation, which assume that all human persons are essentially alike, while Blake's advocacy of forgiveness among human beings assumes an ethics of character based on the cultivation of virtues. The book goes on to argue that in some contexts Blake uses the vocabulary of forgiveness to solve not the problem of human evil but the problem of human otherness, the intractable differences between and among human beings, and to suggest that Blake's vocabulary does not meet the demands of this second task. Thus, Blake, Ethics, and Forgiveness offers a consideration of ethics, an unjustly neglected topic, for inclusion into the study of the British Romantic period. Moreover, its analysis of the limits of Blake's uses of forgiveness contributes to current thinking that questions the sufficiency of the Romantic poets' self-representations
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-213) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Blake, William, 1757-1827 -- Ethics.
Ethics in literature.
Forgiveness in literature.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585263760 (electronic bk.)
9780585263762 (electronic bk.)
(alk. paper)