In the first of his “Continental Prophecies” (see also Europe and The Song of Los), Blake explores the radical paradigms of political repression and revolt through a highly imaginative treatment of the American Revolution. While historical figures such as Washington and Paine appear, much of the symbolic and thematic weight is placed on Blake’s own invented mythological figures, including “Albions Angel” and “Londons Guardian” (forces of the British government), Urizen (the god of restrictive reason and the origin of political repression), and fiery Orc (the spirit of revolt). The American Revolution is viewed as a harbinger of universal revolution, epistemological as much as political. (Text from the William Blake Archive, with thanks.)

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mp3 America a Prophecy, read by Jane Boston

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