Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blake and Shakespeare I

The word 'Shakespeare' appears 16 times in Blake's Concordance and many more times in our blog:

Letters, (E 707)
"To My Dearest Friend John Flaxman  these lines:
I bless thee O Father of Heaven & Earth that ever I saw Flaxmans face
Angels stand round my Spirit in Heaven. the blessed of Heaven are my friends upon Earth
When Flaxman was taken to Italy. Fuseli was giv'n to me for a season
And now Flaxman hath given me Hayley his friend to be mine such my lot upon Earth
Now my lot in the Heavens is this; Milton lovd me in childhood & shewd me his face
Ezra came with Isaiah the Prophet, but Shakespeare in riper years gave me his hand
Paracelsus & Behmen appeard to me. terrors appeard in the Heavens above"
(Quotations of this passage appear ofthen through the blog.)

In Europe Plates 5, 7 and 15;

in  Death and Rebirth:
Henry Crabb Robinson wrote in February 1826:
 "I spoke again of the form of the persons who appear to him. Asked why he did not draw them, 'It is not worth while. There are so many, the labour would be too great. Besides there would be no use. As to Shakespeare, he is exactly like the old engraving—which is called a bad one. I think it very good."

In Forms Sublime:
"This is a continuation of the post SPECTRES OF THE DEAD
This copy of Europe Plate 5 bears several inscription which are thought to have added by Blake's friend Cunningham. At the top are the words 'A Comet'. At the side and bottom are quotes about comets by Rowe, Milton, Homer and Shakespeare." 

The post on Sunday, February 09, 2014 entitled Shakespeare contains several lovely pictures of Shakespeare's plays:
Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing. William Blake. 
Lear and Cordelia in Prison c1779 N 05189 B 53 Pen and watercolour 123×175 by William Blake.jpg
Brutus and Caesar's Ghost, illustration to 'Julius Caesar' IV, iii by William Blake

On Sunday, August 04, 2013 MHH 22
"Have now another plain fact: Any man of mechanical talents may from the writings of Paracelsus or Jacob Behmen, produce ten thousand volumes of equal value with Swedenborg's.and from those of Dante or Shakespear, an infinite number."

Monday, May 13, 2013 INSPIRATION
"On page 331 of A Blake Dictionary, Damon points out the quotation of a phrase from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Blake's Milton. Both men speak of the work of the poet as giving form to the 'airy nothing' which enters the imagination. Blake extends the image beyond the creation of poetry to providing bodies to the Spectres who stand on the threshold of death.

Blake pays homage to Shakespeare in this passage by manipulating the words and ideas from Shakespeare and weaving them into his own passage to demonstrate the process of giving shape and habitation to thought, or bodies to Spectres. Blake includes the word 'inspiration'.

In 'Inventor'
Public Address, Page 60, (E 576)
 "No Man Can
Improve An Original Invention. [Since Hogarths time we have
had very few Efforts of Originality] but
Drawn with a firm hand at once [with all its Spots &
Blemishes which are beauties & not faults] like Fuseli &
Michael Angelo Shakespeare & Milton"

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