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One of the principal characters in the symbolic books of Blake, a complex and ambiguous figure, described in the opening of The Song of Los (1795) as ‘the Eternal Prophet’. He is usually portrayed as the antagonist of Urizen; in his role as blacksmith he is portrayed in The Book of Los (1795) binding Urizen in iron links forged in his glowing furnace, and in earlier poems of the cycle (and also in The Four Zoas) he binds his own son, the rebellious Orc. He represents the artist, and also Time; his female counterpart is Enitharmon (Inspiration, and Space); his periods of estrangement from her spell disaster for the universe. His character changes during the evolution of Blake's mythology, and he finally becomes in Jerusalem a great heroic force of energy, while remaining morally ambiguous.

Subjects: Literature.

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