• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In his poetry Blake writes about his thoughts and feelings concerning the society around him. Comment on Blake’s attitudes in several poems of your choice and explain how effective the poems are in presenting his views.

Extracts from this document...


In his poetry Blake writes about his thoughts and feelings concerning the society around him. Comment on Blake's attitudes in several poems of your choice and explain how effective the poems are in presenting his views. William Blake, who lived in the latter half of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth, was a profound poet who was, in large part, responsible for bringing about the Romantic Movement in poetry. Blake was an extremely eccentric man, who was viewed by most of the people of the time as mad, except for a small group of loyal followers who saw him as a genius. Blake was an individual to say the least, who had his own views on everything, He didn't automatically agree with set views that were seen to be proper, instead he acted like his own man and made decisions for himself. His views at the time would have seemed rebellious and very unorthodox, which is probably the reason that his work only became famous long after his death. Yet seeing his paintings, and reading his poems and engravings in the modern world, where everyone has freedom of speech, the somewhat outrageous aspect that they used to have has diminished. To help me convey his views on the society that he lived in I have selected three poems. ...read more.


Oh what sweet company! The poem starts off nice and cheerfully, Blake uses strong happy words like love to emphasise the joy of the verse. The happiness is again emphasised by using happy images like singing birds. This is made more powerful by saying that birds were singing on every tree. Although the image of a huntsman isn't exactly a happy, joyful image it helps to display the free atmosphere that he is trying to create. On the next line when he says 'the skylarks sing with me' he is again highlighting that every thing is happy, and that he is in harmony with nature. The last line in the stanza summarises the whole verse, and ends it with a very cheerful line. But to got to school in a Summer Morn, Oh! it drives all joy away. Under a cruel eye outworn The little ones spend the day In sighing and dismay The first two lines show what he thinks of school. That on a summer morning when you should be happy and joyful, having to go to school makes you miserable. Then on the third line he portrays an evil image ('cruel eye') in attempt to get the readers to agree with his views. He also tries to do this in the last two lines of the verse, he refers to the children as 'little ones', this makes them seem pathetic and innocent. ...read more.


This verse is about the collapse of marriages and as a result, children's lives. He is saying that men turning to prostitutes help to destroy marriage, and the babies, whether born to harlots of married women stand little chance in life. He uses very strong imagery to convey his views, like 'blights with plagues the marriage hearse'. Normally marriage is associated with joy and happiness, the beginning of a new life, not with death and misery. After analysing the three poems it is very clear to see what his views are regarding the society of the time. 'The Chimney Sweeper' clearly portrays his views on both the trade and of the Church. He comments and describes the trade as being like death, and the church seaming to agree with the awful trade seams like a hypocrisy. In 'The School Boy' he clearly shows how he sees the schools. He describes them as places of misery, places where children are too scared to learn. He shows how he thinks the school does more harm than good in preparing the child for later life. In 'London' his views cover both the people and the land. He discusses how the land is all owned, and nothing is free. He talks about the rules and regulations that man has set upon himself and how the downfall of marriages leads to the child having little chance in life. He also refers back to his views of the church and chimney sweeping. Nick Robinson 10C ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "IslandMan" by Grace Nichols. Consider How ...

    Feelings of the continuing cycle of life are reflected by the use of this word. "Wild seabirds" is written again on its own line to emphasise the importance of nature, they were completely free. However nature worked in harmony with inhabitants of this island, fishermen were a fond memory of "island man".

  2. William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and ...

    food to live on, they are sad because of their lifestyle, living in poverty. The narrator stresses that all the poor are sad, miserable and distressing. In the first line the narrator makes sure that the reader knows that all the poor are sad by mentioning, 'In every cry of

  1. William Blake; The schoolboy

    The sixth stanza acts as a warning to the reader. The purpose of it is to make the reader think of the consequences of the previous verses; if children are suppressed and are not allowed to endure happiness in their

  2. In the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience Blake conveys his thoughts and ...

    The angel at the end of the poem can also be questioned as to whether Blake has portrayed it as good or bad. Is it the good angel who has come to save the children or the bad angel who, as in The Chimney Sweeper made the children believe that everything was good and right with the world?

  1. How does Blake use 'Songs of Innocence' and 'Songs of Experience' to express his ...

    By using these positive cheerful phrases Blake conveys the idea that children are happier and better off when outside of school. The poet attempts to interpret the reasons why children do not enjoy school: not because they are unwilling to learn but due to a lack of inspiration.

  2. ‘Compare and Contrast the ways in which cities and city life are portrayed in ...

    effects such as the sustained stresses of 'mind forged manacles' and the sudden acceleration of the third verse with 'runs in blood down the palace walls'. 'London' was written in 1789 and it presents a vivid and wide-ranging picture of London as it was at the time.

  1. Explore Blake's Chimney Sweeper poems from the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of ...

    "So if they do all their duty, they need not fear harm." That was the first of the two chimney sweeper poems, throughout this poem Blake says one thing but if you look deeper into it, it has a much deeper sinister meaning.

  2. William blake Poetry

    The juxtaposition in the poem is very emotive like the comparison of a rich and fruitful land being disapproved of because of the babes the are fed with a cold and usurious hand this comparison has put the priests

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work