Four Zoas

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A symbolic poem by Blake, originally entitled Vala, written and revised 1795–1804, described by John Beer (Blake's Humanism, 1968) as ‘a heroic attempt to write the first psychological epic’. It presents characters familiar from Blake's earlier symbolic works (Urizen, Los, Enitharmon, Orc, and others), elaborating his cosmic mythology in a framework of a ‘Dream of Nine Nights’. The Four Zoas appear to represent the four human faculties, once united, but then at war with one another until the final radiant vision of joy and peace when the eyes of the Eternal Man ‘behold the depths of wondrous worlds’ and around his tent ‘the little children play among the wooly flocks’.

Subjects: Literature.

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