Apocalyptic Visions, Heroism, and Intersections of the Human and ‘the Not Human’ in Blake’s Milton
Blake’s apocalyptic Illuminated Book Milton depicts nonhuman entities converging with the human at key moments, a convergence that evokes Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of becoming-animal, the rhizome, deterritorialisation, as well as lines of flight, and valorises border crossings and the in-between. These intersections occur in the becomings of humans and nonhumans when engaged in self-annihilation and inspiration (the repeated main actions of the poem), and affirm communal heroic acts. With its socio-political and ecological undertones, Blake’s alternative vision of apocalypse, which only ever remains a vision, provides a reconceptualisation of heroism, producing an epic in which fundamental change relies on a multiplicity of subjectivities, never to be got at but always poised in multiple lines of flight, thus keeping limitless potentialities in play indefinitely.
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