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From your readings of the Songs, to what extent do you find Blake a man of his time?

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From your readings of the Songs, to what extent do you find Blake a man of his time? William Blake was a writer, artist, poet and master engraver. These talents were put together to form an amazing collection of poetical and philosophical masterpieces. Blake was born in 1757 and lived in London. He never attended school, but was self-taught and at the age of fourteen he became apprentice in an acclaimed London engraver where he studied the skill of the trade for seven years. The first known poetry that he wrote was when he was 12 and he later produced these as his first collection. He produced many collections of poetry that he illustrated himself and although he is well known today he spent his many years in poverty and died in 1827. Blake incorporated the social events of the period into his writing. This is highly apparent in his poem "The Tiger" where he uses the tiger as a symbol of these events. One of the major events that were happening in the world in 1789 was the French revolution. ...read more.


Throughout this poem fire is mentioned, fire was stolen from the gods in Greek mythology so it is a godly thing. The tiger is supposed to represent power, god, war, suffering, false hope, and the devil. In Blake's poetry he discusses the commerce of the times. In the poem "London" Blake talks about how London has become all chartered "I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the chartered Thames does flow". This means that everything has become industrialised and is showing how the whole of London, including the river is covered with businesses and had become a busy commercial area. The phrase "But most thro' midnight streets I hear" brings up how London is the city that never sleeps and that there is always someone who is in a state of utter misery. All of these above show how London was and how everywhere was full of commercial enterprise. The poem also shows the spin-off effects of commercialisation and how the rich ruin the lives of the poor. Blake uses comments and phrases like "Marks of weakness, marks of woe" to show how the city of London contains misery. ...read more.


Also the church makes people believe that being white is better than being white for example with the simile "White as an angel is the English child" In the poem "The chimney sweep" Little Tom Dacre is convinced that if he works hard and puts up with everything that happens to him then he will go to heaven "Tho' the morning was cold, But the tom was happy and warm, So if all do their duty they need not fear harm" "And the angel told tom if he be a good boy, He'd be have god as his father and never want joy". This is one of the things that the church does and Blake incorporates it into his poems. In this poem three letters. There is also a mention of an angle freeing the dead chimney sweeps. This section of the poem also includes rhyming, in the fourth an fifth the last words rhyme. The last words of the second and third line do not rhyme but they do end in the same "And by came an angel who had a bright key, And he open'd the coffins and set them all free" this yet again links the church to the poem as the angel is a symbol for the church but this time associating it with death. ...read more.

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