|New York Public Library|
Plate 30, Copy C
"How wide the Gulf &
Unpassable! between Simplicity and Insipidity
Contraries are Positives
A Negation is not a Contrary"
As a continuation of the exploration of the Bard's Song in Milton, we find in Kay Parkhurst Easson and Roger Easson's book, Milton: A Poem by William Blake, an explanation of the difference between dualism and contraries. Embodying contraries within a single form results when each willingly sacrifices self for the whole.
Here is some commentary by the Eassons:
"In dualism there if no progression; there is merely a fluctuation between opposite poles. The eternal Milton's journey in Book I And Ololon's journey in Book II parallel each other and create the union of the contraries of male and female, creator and emanation, human and divine.
Blake felt that Milton had written Paradise Lost in a state of selfhood, with his tyrannical, dualistic attitudes deriving from that selfhood, causing him to separate from his emanation, with that 'Sixfold Emanation scatt'd thro' the deep / In torment.' To Blake Paradise Lost contained the history of desire 'being restrained' or, as we might interpret, the history of the emanation's torment. Milton's Messiah was the 'Governor of Reason' who enforced the chain of dualistic tyranny, denying the possibility of contrariety.
To redeem John Milton's dualism, Blake, therefore, structured Milton in two books, with Book I being the male journey and Book II, the female Journey.
Since Milton has identified himself with Satan in the Bard's Song, and since Milton represents the state of annihilation or death, Ololon's journey transform both the condemnation of Satan and the presentation of Sin and Death in Paradise Lost.
Through love Milton and Ololon, masculine and feminine, wrath and pity, unite in Jesus, the 'One Man,' who embodies all contraries but who asks no obedience. Jesus asks only that the pilgrim undertake a spiritual education modeled upon his own life."
Milton, Plate 2, (E 96) "Say first! what mov'd Milton, who walkd about in Eternity One hundred years, pondring the intricate mazes of Providence Unhappy tho in heav'n, he obey'd, he murmur'd not. he was silent Viewing his Sixfold Emanation scatter'd thro' the deep In torment! To go into the deep her to redeem & himself perish? What cause at length mov'd Milton to this unexampled deed[?] A Bards prophetic Song!"