Good and Evil in Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

1525 Words7 Pages
William Blake, the author of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, was a poet and an artist. The Songs of Innocence (1789) is a book of poems, showing the idea that God’s love is in everything on earth. Five years later he added the Songs of Experience (1794) to the collection. The new poems shows the power of evil.Although Blake’s poems were so powerful, he lived a simple life. He worked as an engraver and a professional artist, but he was always very poor. His work received little attention and when it did, most people found it confusing. Blake shows you cannot have good without evil in “The Lamb” and “The Tyger,” and the Proverbs of Hell, through the use of animal symbolism. A Worm and a Plough is included in the Proverbs of Hell, to exhibit the relationship between good and evil. Blake speaks on this by saying, “The cut worm forgives the plough,” This proverb has both figurative and literal meanings. Literally it means, a plough is cutting through soil and if the plough happens to cut through a worm and cut it into two it will then become two worms instead of one. The deeper meaning or “Blake’s meaning” is more about the struggles of life. There are many people who go through stressful situation and feel like they are being “pulled into two different directions.” We cannot be cut in half and be made into two different people; we stay that same, one bodied, person. Through the difficult moments of life we, as human beings, choose to deal with it. Basically coming down to: “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” In this scenario, being able to keep yourself together during the stress is the good and falling apart under pressure is the evil. ”As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so t... ... middle of paper ... ...Blake uses animals heavily throughout all of his poems to make an overall broader image for the reader. Most of the image portrays the relationship between animals and mankind. He wants people to think about how closely, we as human beings and animals themselves, think a like. He makes it clear that not only is there good and evil in the mortal world, but in the creature world as well. Good and evil resides everywhere and they must be together, because you cannot have one without the other. Works Cited Blake, William. “The Lamb.” Poetry X. Ed. Jough Dempsey. 15 Sep 2003. 27 Jan. 2014 . Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Bartleby.com: Great Books Online. Bartleby.com. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. Blake, William. “The Tyger.” Poetry X. Ed. Jough Dempsey. 15 Sep 2003. 27 Jan. 2014 .

More about Good and Evil in Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

Open Document