Oothoon, the central figure in the poem, plucks the “flower” of female sexuality but is soon raped by Bromion. Her lover, Theotormon, responds with silence or useless abstractions. This slender plot is but a thread on which Blake hangs Oothoon’s questionings of conventional morality. She insists on her inner purity and, in a long concluding lament to the “Daughters of Albion,” on the varieties of energetic self-expression that cannot be delimited by materialist philosophies or legalistic codes. The characters and their words represent Blake’s critique of colonialism, slavery, sexual repression, and attitudes towards women in his day.(Text from the William Blake Archive, with thanks.)
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