Study Guide

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell Religion

By William Blake

Religion

We have to admit, they make an odd couple. If this were an actual wedding, you might be sitting in the back, scratching your head—and waiting for the free buffet to open up. Head-scratching is nothing new to readers of William Blake, though. As an artist, he did his own thing—which can both delight and frustrate audiences. In this case, Blake's unique spin on religion is at the heart The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Whereas most folks see religion as way to sort the good from the bad, Blake saw things in varying shades of gray. As a result, he's trying to complicate conventional Christianity in a way that enriches our view of human nature.

Questions About Religion

  1. Is this poem anti-religious? What parts of it support your answer?
  2. Which parts of the poem suggest that religion is a force for good in some way?
  3. Why does the speaker rely on the Bible to develop his arguments?
  4. How do the speaker's views of the Bible influence the way religion is presented in the book?

Chew on This

This book presents a strong argument against organized religion of any kind.

In the speaker's eyes, religion is not the real problem. It's human interpretation that's to blame.

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