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Marriage of Heaven and Hell

James Moore
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William Blake is often referred to as the first of the British Romantics. The Romantic
period was relatively short (1785-1830) and was fueled in part by two of the most
important movements for independence in history, the French and American revolutions.
The self-assertion that provided the foundation for the Romantic period led to the
questioning and eventual rejection of long-established social hierarchies, political
institutions, and religious traditions and organizations. The Romantic artists, too, rejected
the established literary forms and thematic concerns of their predecessors and sought new
ways of expressing themselves. These artists emphasized the nobility and importance of
common experiences and, to a certain extent, a common language accessible to all, not
just the educated classes. By extension, they championed the imagination as the higher
faculty and believed the natural world more moral, spiritual, and ordered than the world
of men. William Blake was this movement‟s English pioneer.
Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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