The Marriage of Heaven and Hell comparisons

In William Blake’s two editions of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, I believe he was trying to portray the typical stigma of each destination. In the Fitzwilliam 1794 edition, Blake chose a much warmer and light color scheme which translates to happiness; however, in the Morgan 1790 edition, Blake chose a cooler and more subdued color scheme. I think Blake was trying to display that perception is a readers reality. Blake had the power to portray the illustrations any way he wanted and because of that advantage, he can guide the readers opinions and feelings towards the poem just by the color palette he used. Additionally, by changing the color scheme, you can see that Blake wants to viewer to realize the beauty of the marriage between heaven and hell for themselves by seeing the opposing illustrations. “The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest,” says Blake in plate 9. I think here he is again drawing on the theme of opposing forces. Like heaven and hell, the oldest and newest are associated with two vastly different beverages but still deemed the best in their own respect. 


One thought on “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell comparisons

  1. I can see where you are coming from, but when I looked at the different versions it almost seemed like the red, harsher version was not about happiness but it was demonic in a way. The lighter, cooler version was much more safe and happier.

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