Study Guide

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Literature and Writing

By William Blake

Literature and Writing

It's almost never a good sign when a writer starts to write about… writing. Usually, it means that the writer doesn't have anything else to say, and so they just start talking about what it is they're doing. Writing becomes the end of their idea, not the means of expressing other ideas. We're here to give William Blake a permanent pass on that criticism, though. He's not just talking about writing to pass the time. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is concerned with the way that ideas are conveyed and spread. Blake's got plenty to say, and he wants to make sure that others get to read all about it.

Questions About Literature and Writing

  1. What role does publishing play in this book?
  2. What's the importance of reading to this book, particularly when it comes to the Bible?
  3. Why do you think the speaker visits a publishing house in hell?
  4. How does Blake's day job as a publisher and engraver influence his choices as a writer in this book?

Chew on This

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is not so much about writing as it is about re-reading what's already been written—like the Bible.

The star of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is none other than William Blake himself. That's why he includes so many discussions of writing and publishing.

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