By Christopher Z. Hobson (auth.)
Against the backdrop of Britain's underground 18th and early-19th century gay tradition, mob persecutions, and executions of homosexuals, Hobson indicates how Blake's hatred of sexual and non secular hypocrisy and nation repression, and his progressive social imaginative and prescient, led him steadily to simply accept homosexuality as an essential component of human sexuality. within the strategy, Blake rejected the antihomosexual bias of British radical culture, revised his idealization of competitive male heterosexuality and his male-centered view of gender, and sophisticated his notion of the cooperative commonwealth.
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Additional resources for Blake and Homosexuality
Shelley "explains" Greek homosexuality as a product of the oppressed condition of Greek women and even their lack of beauty (408-409, 412). And he cannot quite bring himself to believe that Greek males had physical sex with one another: In most instances the lover slaked his physical needs with his wife or a slave, or his thoughts were too exalted to need physical expression, while in other cases, perhaps, when in company with a partner of supreme physical loveliness, something happened analogous to "certain phenomena connected with sleep, at the age of puberty" (411).
A self-differentiation according to sexual object choice" ("Sapphic Subjects"). Lesbianism was not subject to the same legal repression that has provided grist for students of the sodomitical culture. Lesbian acts were not covered by any law; what seems to be the only prominent law case of the period involving lesbianism occurred when, in 1810, two Scots school-keepers, Marianne Woods and Jane Pirie, sued Dame Helen Cumming Gordon, a local notable, for destroying their reputations and livelihood with allegations oflesbianism.
They exclude all mutuality, care, and reciprocity.... Out of such a process only disaster can emerge" ("Representations" 250-51). Indeed, though the point may be obvious, one should note that the daughter's womb "joy'd"; at the crucial moment she herself, as a person, disappears, though she speaks immediately after. In attacking Blake for showing revolution as coercive rather than mutualistic, Aers ignores the possibility that Blake may be politically asserting precisely this point, but he is right to note Blake's affirmation of sexual coercion itself.