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Compare and Contrast Blake’s use of style in the poems ‘The Tyger’, ‘London’ and ‘The Sick Rose’. Describe how these poems reflect his attitude towards eighteenth century Britain.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast Blake's use of style in the poems 'The Tyger', 'London' and 'The Sick Rose'. Describe how these poems reflect his attitude towards eighteenth century Britain. William Blake was brought up by a rebellious family. His family disagreed with the ways of the church. This led him to believe certain things about the Church of England. He was convinced that the church was corrupt with the ways they controlled people's thoughts. Always preying instead of sorting out the problems in society. Blake didn't agree with any sort of authority and ways which people were given rules and orders to follow. Blake's views were that the church had a lot to do with evil and death they pretended to care about helping others, and their prayers were just an excuse for seeing to the much needed attention of society. Although Blake had much disliking for the church it didn't stop him from reading the Bible. Blake also hated the ways in which society was run. He saw how the young were exploited by society. Young children were forced in to work to do jobs like chimney sweeps. The young women had to become prostitutes in order to make a living. The young men would have to join the army and fight. Blake was writing his poetry in the time of the Industrial Revolution. ...read more.

Middle

One image of innocence from 'The Tyger' is: 'Did he who made the lamb make thee? By this, Blake is questioning how could someone create an innocent lamb and then go on to make a predator like the 'Tyger'. Another image of innocence from 'the Tyger' is 'when thy heart began to beat' this is representing creation of the Tyger, how it couldn't be evil or destructive because it is the start of new life. There are plenty of images of innocence in Blake's poem 'London'. One of these is 'in every infant's cry of fear'. This is referring to how Blake saw young children being exploited by society, this is also related to Blake's images of evil. The chimneysweeper's cry is an innocent image, as the chimney sweeps were young children forced into labour. The newborn infants tear is representing how newborn babies were born to prostitutes. They would have a harsh life, with a poor upbringing. Blake didn't agree with the idea of corrupting children at an early age. The infant would have to make it's own way in life with no support. In Blake's poem, 'The Sick Rose'. The name 'The Sick Rose' is an innocent image. Blake may have used this, as a sick rose poses no threat. It is a week and delicate picture. Blake's different images of innocence are used to show how he felt towards innocent young children that were forced into labour at an early age. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Did he who made the lamb make thee?' This conveys the poet's scepticism concerning the formation of two dissimilar creatures. Blake also transposes the rhythm in the beginning lines: 'Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright' Blake wants the foremost line to have an impression on the reader. I his poem 'London' the majority of the lines follow a regular iambic rhythm. These lines are constructed in the form of iambic tetrameter. Blake then reverses this rhythm in certain lines to trochaic tetrameter. This is done to pull the readers attention towards them. For example all the lines in the third verse are in trochaic tetrameter. Here Blake is pointing out how the church is related to the plight of the chimney sweep. 'The Sick Rose' has a slightly different layout; there are shorter line lengths and just two verses. Blake has used a regular rhythm because it sticks to one particular thought from start to finish of the poem; consequently it doesn't need to pull our deliberation to something else. Blake utilises his different and contrasting images of darkness, innocence and restriction, but they all appear to be linked in someway and impart a similar idea. Darkness symbolises evil or the dark side of society, which is inflicted on to the harmless. The images of restriction additionally work in a comparable way, catching the weak and exposed member of society. Blake reverses the rhythm in numerous lines of his poems to attract our attention to certain images and to a few of contradictory demeanours of eighteenth century Britain. Adam Cheeseman ...read more.

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