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Minute Particulars

Vol. 47 no. 1: Summer 2013

Blake’s “Introduction” and Hesiod’s Theogony

  • Kurt Fosso
23 May 2013
23 May. 2013


Northrop Frye was, so far as I can find, the first critic to shine a light on the Greek poet Hesiod’s influence upon William Blake. Specifically, Frye judged the divine characters Tharmas and Enion from The Four Zoas (c. 1796) to be “probably the Thaumas and Eione of Hesiod’s Theogony.” Kathleen Raine, following upon Frye, in turn detected the Theogony’s presence in Blake’s The Book of Urizen (1794), and recently Paul Miner has uncovered significant Hesiodic allusions in The Book of Ahania (1795). The Theogony’s influence can similarly be traced in the divine struggles described in the continental prophecies America and Europe (1793, 1794).