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The Influence of the Bible on William Blake Essay

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During the British Romantic period, some writers used material from the Bible or imitated the Bible in style of writing or content. William Blake, a Romantic writer, engraver, and painter, believed that “the Bible was the greatest work of poetry ever written” (Barker 2004). The Bible influenced him throughout this life, specifically influencing both his writing and his art. There are many references to Biblical themes within his writing, and there are also many references to specific passages of Scripture (Barker 2004).
The lines “O thou, with dewy locks, who looked down / Thro’ the clear windows of the morning . . .” (1-2) in William Blake’s poem “To Spring” give a picture of the window from the Bible. “Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by . . .” (King James Bible, Josh. 2.18). The hills mentioned in the line “Come o’er the eastern hills . . .” (9) echo the hills written about in the Song of Solomon. “. . . Behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon this hills” (2.8).
In the poem “The Lamb,” William Blake writes about a child and a Lamb. Jesus Christ is this Lamb. In John, it is written “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” (1.36). This is echoed in the line of the poem that says, “For he calls himself a Lamb” (14). The next line of the poem states that “He is meek & he is mild” (15). Jesus is meek as well as mild. This is stated in the Gospel of Matthew. “. . . I am meek and lowly in heart . . .” (11.29). The poem also states that “He became a little child” (16). Jesus came to earth as a child to live among mankind. This is stated by the prophet Isaiah. “For unto us ...


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... Museum of Art. 2004. 8 March 2011. Web.
Blake, William. “Songs of Experience: London.” Bloom and Trilling 26-27. Print.
Blake, William. “Songs of Experience: To Tirzah.” Bloom and Trilling 28-29. Print.
Blake, William. “Songs of Innocence: Holy Thursday.” Bloom and Trilling 22. Print.
Blake, William. “Songs of Innocence: The Lamb.” Bloom and Trilling 19. Print.
Blake, William. “The Book of Thel.” Bloom and Trilling 29-33, Plates 1-6. Print.
Blake, William. “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” Bloom and Trilling 34-44, Plates 1-21. Print.
Blake, William. “To Spring.” Bloom and Trilling 14-15. Print.
Bloom, Harold, and Lionel Trilling, Eds. The Oxford Anthology of English Literature: Romantic Poetry and Prose. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. Print.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2005. Print.


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