The Critique of Reason and Biopolitics in William Blake's The Four Zoas.

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Author: Haram Lee
Date: Spring 2021
Publisher: University of Texas at Austin (University of Texas Press)
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 9,881 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Abstract :

This article examines William Blake's critique of instrumental reason in The Four Zoas to rethink the politics of his later poetry. Rather than signaling his quietism, Blake's poem registers his insights into emerging political strategies that produce governable bodies by encouraging rational self-mastery and the pursuit of self-interest. I argue that Blake represents proto-biopolitical thinking as such in criticizing Malthus's political economy and radical political discourse of the 1790s. KEYWORDS: William Blake, The Four Zoas, biopolitics, Michel Foucault, political economy, radicalism

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A656702606