William Blake Essay

William Blake Essay

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William Blake


The poet, painter and engraver, William Blake was born in 1757, to a London haberdasher. Blake’s only formal education was in art. At the age of ten, he entered a drawing school and then at the age of fourteen, he apprenticed to an engraver. ( Abrams & Stillinger 18). Although, much of Blake’s time was spent studying art, he enjoyed reading and soon began to write poetry. Blake’s first book of poems, Poetical Sketches, "showed his dissatisfaction with the reigning poetic tradition and his restless quest for new forms and techniques" ( Abrams & Stillinger 19). Poetical Sketches, was followed by many other works including, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. These series were accompanied by etchings, which depict each of the poems in the two books. Blake was such a revolutionary poet because he used visual agents to emphasize and express his poetry as he set the standards for the Romantic Era in poetry.

Blake was influenced by religion very early in his life. "At the age of ten, Blake tried to convince his father that he had seen angels in a tree, and, he asserted through the rest of his life, that he spoke with many of the spirits, angels and devils that he wrote about" (Union 1). Blake’s strong religious faith has a great impact on his life and we can see the religious overtones in much of his work. Blake was a strong believer of the spirit world, which enables us to relate his work to the Romantic poet’s incorporation of an imminent god into their poetry.

The Romantic form of poetry gained its popularity in the late 18’th century. "Romanticism can be seen as a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization and rationality that typified Classicism in general and late 18’th...


... middle of paper ...


...rd
Edition, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Downie, Daniel. "The Toils of Los: Complete Written Works of Blake with Illustrations
And Art. Blake Web. <20 November 1999> http://198.247.176.53

Goetz, Philip W. "Religious Symbolism and Iconography" Britannica Encyclopedia
Vol. 26. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1995, 29.

Harden, Mark & Carol Gerten-Jackson. America Online. <22 October 1999>
http://sunsite.sut.ac.jp/wm/paint/auth/blake/

Marcotte, Adam. "The Optimistic Lineage of William Blake: Songs of Experience and
The Book of Urizen Revisited" Class Paper, SUNY Cortland. July 30, 1996.

"Babynames" 1996-1999. <20 November 1999> www.babynames.com

"Blake: Man, Writer, Thinker, Artisan" Online. <20 October 1999> www.vu.union.edu/~blake/life/html

"Romanticism" <22 October 1999> http://sunsite.sut.ac.jp/wm/paint/glo/romanticism

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