An analysis and response to William Blake's Visions of the Daughters of Albion and a commentary involving the themes of various detrimental forms of repression

Essay by chromie03University, Bachelor'sA, April 2003

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William Blake's Visions of the Daughters of Albion is a representation of the author's convictions concerning repression and physical and religious slavery. Oothoon, Blake's heroine, is subject to the rejection of two men who are unable to provide her with the pure, innocent love she so desires. Upon plucking Leutha's flower, Oothoon indicates that she is ready to experience a man. The first she encounters, Bromion, rapes her, then claims he has impregnated her, making her his possession. Theotormon, the object of Oothoon's affection, binds Bromion and his newfound lover together, punishing them for their display of sexuality, as seen in the frontispiece plate. Theotormon's life is ruled by Urizen, his vision of God--a vision Oothoon condemns because it encourages "self enjoyings of self denial" (7.9). Theotormon cannot concede to Oothoon's proclaimed love because he is so bound by his religion. Oothoon therefore, is unable to love anyone in her triangle because both repress her love.

When Bromion rapes Oothoon he proclaims:

Thy soft American plains are mine, and mine thy north & south:

Stampt with my signet are the swarthy children of the sun:

They are obedient, they resist not, they obey the scourge:

Their daughters worship terrors and obey the violent. (Blake 1.20-23)

The "soft American plains" are Oothoon's body and the physical land that Bromion shows no remorse desecrating. The "swarthy children of the sun" are the slaves he has control over. Bromion's philosophy is based on power derived from material possession and exploitation. Even sexuality is a means of domination, as after he rapes Oothoon he proclaims, "Now thou maist marry Bromion's harlot"(2.2). It is assumed that Bromion is speaking to Theotormon when he adds, "and protect the child of Bromion's rage" (2.2-3). By raping Oothoon, Bromion not only takes her virginity,