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William Blake Essay

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William Blake


William Blake is one of England’s most famous literary figures. He is remembered and admired for his skill as a painter, engraver, and poet. He was born on Nov. 28, 1757 to a poor Hosier’s family living in or around London. Being of a poor family, Blake received little in the way of comfort or education while growing up. Amazingly, he did not attend school for very long and dropped out shortly after learning to read and write so that he could work in his father’s shop. The life of a hosier however was not the right path for Blake as he exhibited early on a skill for reading and drawing. Blake’s skill for reading can be seen in his understanding for and use of works such as the Bible and Greek classic literature. Interestingly enough, Blake’s skill for writing went largely unnoticed throughout his life. One of his more famous works, Songs of Innocence, which he wrote and illustrated, with the help of his wife Catherine Boucher, sold slowly and for only a few shillings during his day. Today a copy of this work sells for thousands. While his skill as a writer was not recognized until after his passing, at the age of 14 his father noticed his skill as an artist and apprenticed him to James Basire, a noted Engraver of the time. After spending some time as an apprentice and student at the Royal Academy, Blake was able to set up his own engraving business at 27 Broad Street in London. This venture proved to be largely unsuccessful and from this point on, in the year 1784, at the age of 27, Blake's career as an engraver-poet-prophet began.

In addition to being a poet and engraver Blake is described as a prophet because many of his works are themed with religion. There is evidence that Blake was instilled with his se...


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...influence is absent from earth. This is why in line 16 the poem’s narrator is asking earth to "Turn away no more;" because until god and thus the earth pay attention to earth again the "starry floor" and "watry shore" which represent ration and chaos are going to continually struggle for power. The "break of day" in the last line is the coming of god when and if he does. Right now however according to Blake the earth is still fallen and this is why life is the experience that he describes it to be.

Overall I think that Blake’s point to be made is that life is not controlled by God and that he does not feel the presence of god in his life. If he were to accept god then he would have no way of explaining why his life is as it is. He tries to show people who disagree with this point their errors in thinking by using graphic images of reality as proof of his point.


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