Homosexuality, Resistance, and Apocalypse: The Four Zoas

  • Christopher Z. Hobson


The Four Zoas marks a crucial point in Blake’s development. Begun in 1796–97 and continued over the next decade, though never put into finished form, this epic-prophecy cast as a dream-vision in nine nights is a universal history that also comes to grips with a key aspect of contemporary history: the failures of the French Revolution and the English radical reform movement from the 1770s through the 1790s. Through salient events involving Orc, Blake amends his initial scheme of human renewal through elemental rebellion and unfettered desire. In political terms, he recognizes the need for a social movement based on historical-prophetic awareness and contemporary fraternity. The resulting perspective does not repudiate social rebellion but accepts the need for enlarged understanding and eventually, in Jerusalem, mutuality and love to guide the people.


Sexual Desire Male Character Female Figure Brick Kiln Male Homosexuality 
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© Christopher Z. Hobson 2000

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  • Christopher Z. Hobson

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