William Blake Essay

William Blake Essay

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William Blake


William Blake was born in 1757 during a time when Romanticism was on the rise. Romantic poets of this day and age, living in England, experienced changes from a wealth-centered aristocracy to a modern industrial nation where power shifted to large-scale employers thus leading to the enlargement of the working class. Although Blake is seen as a very skillful writer his greatest successes were his engravings taught to him by a skilled sculpture. Blake differed from other poets in that he never received a formal education. His only education consisted of the arts, and therefore he enrolled in the Royal Academy of the Arts around the age of twelve. It was only in his spare time that he showed any interest in poetry. At the age of twenty-four he married Catherine Boucher who in fact had been illiterate at the time but Blake soon taught her to read. From there he pursued teaching in drawing and painting, illustrated books, and engraved designs made by other artists. It was only after many failures at the attempt of public recognition, and after years of isolation, that Blake had experienced his first audience. It was a small group of painters that admired his works and listened to every one of his talks. Blake is best known for intertwining his artistic talent and poetic flow. Proof of such success is seen in "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience", in which almost every poem has been engraved and beautifully sculpted onto a plaque. These two sets of poems represented what Blake believed to be the "two contrary states of the human soul".

Blake was considered a social critic of his own time and often thought of himself as a prophet. His criticism was a reflection of his own country and of an era in time that...


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...rth to awake, he is asking not to physically wake up but to really open your eyes to the world around you and see what you have become. See how materialistic and self-centered you have become. He says not to turn away because turning away won’t solve your problems only surpress them for the time being. The poem is drawn in a night’s sky to give the Earth the opportunity to wake up with the new morning.http://members.aa.net/~urizen/experience/soe02.html
When Blake combined the two titles "Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience" he added a phrase that sums up the meaning of the two. He added "Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul", these two states being childhood and adulthood. Childhood represents Innocence and adulthood represents Experience and what we do with our lives comes from childhood imagination and adulthood determination and judgment.

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