Dark angels
Blake, Milton, and Lovecraft in Ridley Scott's Prometheus
in William Blake's Gothic imagination
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Jason Whittaker argues that Scott’s Engineers, a species of ‘dark angels’ who seem to have created human life accidentally, have their origin in Blake’s Zoas, thus locating the film’s action in a metaphysically distressing universe devoid of any fundamental benevolence or omniscience. Hence, ‘[t]he horror of Prometheus’, for Whittaker, ‘lies not so much in our disgust with the operations of the human body and in abjection as in the realisation that the secret history of the cosmos is utterly alien to us’. Human life is the product neither of a Divine, infallible creator nor a natural, evolutionary process, but rather of ‘an aberrant series of alien experiments’, an idea at the root of ‘the cosmic horror of Prometheus’.


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