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

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

Length: 1525 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience Essay

- A poet does not achieve the highest levels of success until generations and generations after his death have critiqued and recognized his works of art, as seen by the revered poet William Blake. He lived and crafted his finest masterpieces during the era of Romanticism, which is marked by the earliest poems of William Blake in 1783 (Anthology, pg 3). Along with Wordsworth, modern poetry was created (Anthology, pg 8). During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, poetry that described nature and landscapes emerged....   [tags: Songs of Innocence and Experience 2014]

Strong Essays
1240 words (3.5 pages)

Blake's The Songs of Innocence Essay

- Blake's The Songs of Innocence The Songs of Innocence poems first appeared in Blake’s 1784 novel, An Island in the Moon. In 1788, Blake began to compile in earnest, the collection of Songs of Innocence. And by 1789, this original volume of plates was complete. These poems are the products of the human mind in a state of innocence, imagination, and joy; natural euphoric feelings uninhibited or tainted by the outside world. Following the completion of the Songs of Innocence plates, Blake wrote The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and it is through this dilemma of good and evil and the suffering that he witnesses on the streets of London, that he begins composing Songs of Experience....   [tags: Songs Innocence blake Essays]

Strong Essays
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Songs of Good and Evil Essay

- Simple, limited, and unadventurous all describe William Blake’s life (Greenblatt, Abrams, Lynch, Stillinger). Blake was born November 28, 1757 in London, England and his artistic ability became evident in his early years. Blake had a very simple upbringing and had little education. His formal education was in art and at the age of fourteen he entered an apprenticeship with a well-known engraver who taught Blake his skills in engraving. In Blake’s free time, he began reading writing poetry. At the age of twenty-one, Blake completed his seven-year apprenticeship and began to work on projects for book and print publishers....   [tags: William Blake, Biography]

Strong Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Songs Of Innocence And Experience

- Referring closely to at least two poems in the Songs of Innocence and Experience Anthology, show how Blake explored key Romantic themes Elizabeth Mill?n-Zaibert states that German poet Friedrich Schlegel first used the term Romantic to describe literature, defining it as "literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form. (Millan-Zaibert) However this is not the complete picture, romanticism includes subjectivity and an emphasis on individualism; spontaneity; freedom from rules, mysticism and infinity with nature....   [tags: Poetry, Romanticism, Romantic poetry, John Keats]

Strong Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience by William Blake Essay

- ... Like the Nurse, <>. It’s important to note the peace and harmony that exists within these children at play in nature. This certainly echoes the essence of Romanticism. Similarly, Lewis Carroll also celebrates youth and innocence, a world where endless possibilities exist. In his poem “Solitude”, Carroll reminisces and shares the memory of his own childhood. The poem displays how Carroll delighted in nature during his youth, later yearning to enjoy just one more summer day as a child. Ultimately, Alice’s sister personifies this feeling....   [tags: adulthood, alice´s wonderland, carroll]

Strong Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

`` Candide `` : Innocence And Experience Essay

- Innocence and Experience In the Neo-classical novel Candide the theme of innocence and experience is prevalent through the protagonist, Candide, journey of finding the prescription of how to live a useful life in the face of a harsh reality. In addition William Blake’s collection of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience the two characters, tyger and lamb, show how we lose our innocence to gain experience. Although the innocence and experience are paradoxical terms, we can solve the paradox by analyzing these two works....   [tags: William Blake, The Tyger, Poetry by William Blake]

Strong Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Comparison of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and The Songs of Innocence & Experience

- Blake’s “The Songs of Innocence & Experience” and “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” play an important role in the age of romanticism and important step in romantic poetry. Looking at the two pieces as a comparison, it can be seen that Blake used two different pieces to question traditional institutions. Blake questions institutionalized religion with “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” and questions the industrialized age with “The Songs of Innocence and Experience”. “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, questions the very fabric of traditional religion through Blake’s criticisms on the need for change towards political and religious freedoms....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Strong Essays
1768 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Innocence and Experience

- William Blake was an English poet who was home schooled by his parents and found it difficult to socialize with other children which made him into a bit of an outcast as a child. His family was very religious, but they didn’t always agree with the church’s teachings. Because Blake didn’t have many friends and was schooled at home, he had a lot of time to reflect on life. There is a lot of biblical discourse in Blake’s work especially in his famous books Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience....   [tags: Literary Analysis, William Blake]

Strong Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Essay on In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many

- In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many of the poems correlate in numerous aspects. For example, The Chimney Sweeper is a key poem in both collections that portrays the soul of a child The Chimney Sweeper in Innocence vs. The Chimney Sweeper in Experience In William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many of the poems correlate in numerous aspects. For example, The Chimney Sweeper is a key poem in both collections that portrays the soul of a child with both a naïve and experienced persona....   [tags: English Literature]

Strong Essays
861 words (2.5 pages)

A comparison of the Use of Language between the Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence and Experience

- A comparison of the Use of Language between the Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence and Experience Even though, a hundred and seventy nine years later, lying in his grave, William Blake is still one of the best influences in poetry and even daily life today. Blake’s work, unrecognised during his lifetime, but now is almost universally considered that of a genius. Northrop Frye, who undertook a study of Blake’s entire opus, ‘What is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English Language.’ Blake was born into a middle class family in 1757....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1204 words (3.4 pages)