Whereas Thel defends a certain anxiety and hesitancy about sexuality, the Visions begins with Bromion’s rape of Oothoon. So sexuality occurs not as the Lily promised, ushering us into the harmonious cycle of nature, but as a violent interuption of legitimate trepidation. Now the love of Theotormon and Oothoon is left to develop not ‘naturally’ but on the basis of this traumatic distortion of how we think things ought to be. This is one of Blake’s basic points: the ways of actual life are infinitely distorted and weird–in a word, infernal–and we inevitably misconstrue life when we view it through the lens of how it “ought” to be (according to religion or abstract reason or ideologies of natural harmony). This great frontispiece shows Oothoon linked to her rapist and Theotormon consumed with humiliation, sorrow and envy.
So what is Oothoon’s complaint about Theotormon?
What does Oothoon mean in the passage in which she describes herself as “a virgin filled with virgin fancies,” and which ends by repeating “the moment of desire!” (181-186)?
Why does Oothoon spend so much time discussing animals?