Los plays many roles in Blake's mythology but among the most compelling and disturbing is his relationship to his son Orc.
When the psyche is divided into competing entities the problem of jealousy arises and is projected outward. The unresolved struggle between Urthona (Los) and Luvah (Orc) results from Urthona's inability to assimilate Luvah into the psychic structure. Intuition as the imaginative function protects his own interests from the initiatives of the emotions. The emotions which should be valued and released become dysfunctional and are likely to be expressed explosively.
Blake gives us a vivid portrayal poetically and graphically of the result of failing to allow expression to psychic traits which are unrecognized or undervalued.
A Large Book of Designs
From Book of Urizen
Book of Urizen, Plate 20, (E 79)
"1. They named the child Orc, he grew
Fed with milk of Enitharmon
2. Los awoke her; O sorrow & pain!
A tight'ning girdle grew,
Around his bosom. In sobbings
He burst the girdle in twain,
But still another girdle
Opressd his bosom, In sobbings
Again he burst it. Again
Another girdle succeeds
The girdle was form'd by day;
By night was burst in twain.
3. These falling down on the rock
Into an iron Chain
In each other link by link lock'd
4. They took Orc to the top of a mountain.
O how Enitharmon wept!
They chain'd his young limbs to the rock
With the Chain of Jealousy
Beneath Urizens deathful shadow
5. The dead heard the voice of the child
And began to awake from sleep
All things. heard the voice of the child
And began to awake to life."
Four Zoas, Night V, Page 62, (E 342)
"But when returnd to Golgonooza Los & Enitharmon
Felt all the sorrow Parents feel. they wept toward one another
And Los repented that he had chaind Orc upon the mountain
And Enitharmons tears prevaild parental love returnd
Tho terrible his dread of that infernal chain They rose
At midnight hasting to their much beloved care
Nine days they traveld thro the Gloom of Entuthon Benithon
Los taking Enitharmon by the hand led her along
The dismal vales & up to the iron mountains top where Orc
Howld in the furious wind he thought to give to Enitharmon
Her son in tenfold joy & to compensate for her tears
Even if his own death resulted so much pity him paind
But when they came to the dark rock & to the spectrous cave
Lo the young limbs had strucken root into the rock & strong
Fibres had from the Chain of Jealousy inwove themselves
In a swift vegetation round the rock & round the Cave
And over the immortal limbs of the terrible fiery boy
In vain they strove now to unchain. In vain with bitter tears
To melt the chain of Jealousy. not Enitharmons death
Nor the Consummation of Los could ever melt the chain
Nor unroot the infernal fibres from their rocky bed
Nor all Urthonas strength nor all the power of Luvahs Bulls
Tho they each morning drag the unwilling Sun out of the deep
Could uproot the infernal chain. for it had taken root"