Recalcitrant Rebellion As Art
William Blake was an English romantic poet who lived from 1757 to 1827 through both the American and the French revolutions. Although he lived during the Romantic Age, and was clearly part of the movement, Blake was a modern thinker who had a rebellious political spirit. He was the first to turn poetry and art into sociopolitical weapons to be raised rebelliously against the establishment. His poetry exemplified many of the same topics being discussed today. Although he was known as both a madman and a mystic, (Elliott) his poetry is both relevant and radical. He employed a brilliant approach as he took in the uncomfortable political and moral topics of his day and from them he created unique artistic representations. His poetry recounts in symbolic allegory the negative effects of the French and American revolutions and his visual art portrays the violence and sadistic nature of slavery. Blake was arguably one of the most stubbornly anti-oppression and anti-establishment writers in the English canon.
Blake had an uncanny ability to use his work to illustrate the unpleasant and often painful realities around him. His poetry consistently embodies an attitude of revolt against the abuse of class and power that appears guided by a unique brand of spirituality. His spiritual beliefs reached outside the boundaries of religious elites loyal to the monarchy. “He was inspired by dissident religious ideas rooted in the thinking of the most radical opponents of the monarchy during the English Civil War “(E. P. Thompson). Concern with war and the blighting effects of the industrial revolution were displayed in much of his work.
One of Blake’s most famous works is The Songs of Innocence and The Songs of Expe...
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... transcend the material world and reach what Blake views as the actual world of the spirit. The hidden interpretation within the piece is a telling commentary on Blake’s non-conventional religious awareness.
William Blake was a modern thinker with a recalcitrant political spirit. He used poetry and art as sociopolitical weapons, which were raised boldly against the establishment. These sociopolitical weapons, which began with him, are still used today in all types of artistic and political activities. Although known as a madman and a mystic, (Elliott) his art and his poetry were guided by the visions of radical change. Even today, his work is both relevant and profound. The brilliant approach he took with difficult political and moral topics created unique artistic representations that are very much as relevant today as they were when Blake first adopted their use.
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