https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-the-house-of-death-n05060 The House of Death

While I'm asking about a colour print it's as much about Blake's poetry. I haven't been able to find much analysis of this painting for the novice.

This print illustrates lines from Book XI of Milton's poem Paradise Lost. The Archangel Michael shows Adam the misery that will be inflicted on Man now he has eaten the Forbidden Fruit. In a vision of 'Death's 'grim Cave' Adam sees a 'monstrous crew' of men afflicted by 'Diseases dire'.

The colour print is a reference to a passage in Paradise Lost, but in place of Michael is Blake's Urizen. What are the arrows he is throwing and what is the dagger the blue afflicted is holding?

I thought Urizen was supposed to embody reason and law so why would he reveal the dangers of knowledge to persuade Adam to avoid it? Didn't he want the fall to happen?

  • 1
    The fall has already happened; it happens in book IX of Paradise Lost. Michael shows Adam what he can expect now. It's too late for Adam to avoid the dangers of knowledge.
    – verbose
    Mar 15 '21 at 8:15

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