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The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton, and BlakeA Comparative Study$
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Harold Fisch

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184898.001.0001

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Cognition and Re-cognition

Cognition and Re-cognition

(p.235) Chapter 8 Cognition and Re-cognition
The Biblical Presence in Shakespeare, Milton, and Blake

Harold Fisch

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Blake makes the modalities of romantic self-consciousness the very subject of his poetry. Notions and processes which are only hinted at in the imagery of Wordsworth and Shelley are here projected on a large mythic canvas. Moreover, Blake gives them the distinctness of an organized system. His great strength comes from the fact that whilst notions of the all-embracing character of the Self and of the universal power of the Imagination had found expression hitherto in the lyric of romantic subjectivity, Blake’s voice is not that of romantic subjectivity. He invented a precise mythological language or shorthand for speaking of cognition and recognition, defining the ground of romantic inwardness without being himself engulfed in the abyss of that same inwardness.

Keywords:   Blake, Shelley, Hebrew Scripture, Imagination, Self

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