Study Guide

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Good vs. Evil

By William Blake

Good vs. Evil

Vader vs. Skywalker. Potter vs. Voldemort. Paper vs. Plastic. This book takes its place in the line of famous good and evil match-ups. Only, fight fans will be sorely disappointed once they start reading. Even the title of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell lets us know that Blake's not about an epic clash here. Instead, he's looking to change the oppositional way we think about the terms good and evil. Both are necessary for the vitality of humanity, he argues. We shouldn't try to repress one for the sake of the other. Like a delicious Reese's peanut butter cup, good and evil are two ingredients that are best enjoyed mixed—in Blake's eyes, anyway.

Questions About Good vs. Evil

  1. How does the speaker's definitions of good and evil differ from the conventional definitions?
  2. What is the relationship between Evil and Energy in this book?
  3. Which camp does the speaker identify with in the book: good or evil? How can you tell and why do you think he goes this route?
  4. What problems does this book associate with goodness? How convincing is that argument to you and why?

Chew on This

The book's most convincing argument is that human beings possess the capacity for both good and evil. We're both things at once, not either-or.

Actually, Blake confuses Evil and impulsiveness in this book. There's a difference between following your heart and doing truly bad things in life.

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