Abstract

This article claims that William Blake draws on cultural and legal notions of insanity to create a space within which radical expression could exist safe from government prosecution. Concerned with an expansive definition of treason in 1794, Blake utilized the cultural conflation of prophet with madman and encoded his prophetic books with a form of internal contradiction analogous to legal conceptions of insanity—an internally divided subject was deemed incompetent to stand trial or instigate legal proceedings.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 739-762
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-06
Open Access
No
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