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

To what extent is it evident through the poetry of William Blake that he hated tyranny and celebrated liberty?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is it evident through the poetry of William Blake that he hated tyranny and celebrated liberty? William Blake was born in 1757, during a period of great change in western political ideas. The poor had begun to realise that they did not have to live as serfs under the rich, and were breaking free of these old bonds, The main examples of this being The French revolution in 1792 and the American Revolution in 1775, both now considered as some of the most important events in history. Blake was a great supporter of these movements, and believed that the same should happen in England. This is why many of the Aristocracy at the time considered Blake a threat to their comfortable way of life. The tiger in Blake's most famous poem is said to represent the French Revolution, 'What immortal hand or eye, can frame thy fearful symmetry?' he writes, making clear his view of the power and greatness of this movement. Although Blake didn't go as far in his protests as the French, he is very subversive in his views the ruling classes in his poetry, although he uses well known symbols and metaphors to voice his criticism. ...read more.

Middle

He firmly believed that the imagination was an important part of human character, and must be allowed to run free, instead of being trapped by indoctrination or brainwashing by the Church or the Aristocracy. In his poem 'London' from the 'Songs of Experience', he writes 'the mind-forged manacles I hear.' This suggests that it is the people themselves who haven't the imagination to break free. When he was ten he attended a drawing school, and at fourteen was apprenticed to an engraver; an occupation he was to maintain for the rest of his life, and which kept him in money until he died. Blake shows us in his poetry how life during the smog-ridden and dirty Industrial Revolution was, by contrasting it against the countryside, which he uses as his idea of heaven or Eden-the perfect place for man. We can divide Blake's poetry into three sections; poems that celebrate the best ways of living, poems that show how society corrupts/the problems with man's values, and poems that show us how Blake would like us to live. I have chosen poems from "Songs of Innocence and Experience" to illustrate Blake's hate of tyranny and love of liberty. ...read more.

Conclusion

He speaks of the "Chartered Thames" and "Chartered streets". This is reflective of the fact that London had just been fully mapped for the first time, something that Blake considered wrong, as he believed that London was almost a living thing, always changing and moving. He felt that tom map it was to kill its spirit, and therefore hated the regularity of the map's straight-line streets and river. Through these poems, Blake speaks of his moral view of the world. It is clear that he cannot bear to see either children or adults oppressed under the tyrannical regimes that they live in, but are unable to imagine living without. Blake does not just want physical liberty from the Aristocracy and Church; he calls for a mental liberty, a freedom from indoctrination and mental bonds. Blake's work is still relevant today. People are still oppressed both physically and mentally throughout the world. Changes have happened, but there are still in England many that must resort to working in terrible conditions for little pay, and are unable to break free. Blake's poetry is just as relevant to them now as it ever was, and will probably always be relevant to some. ...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. How does William Blake portray children and childhood in his poetry? Discuss with references ...

    The reader is not tense as they don't expect any unfortunate twists and turns in the poem. Again this adds to the optimism of the poem and the ways Blake portrays children/childhood is easier for the reader to see. The structure of the poem has been formed in three Fairly long stanzas, but not so long to make it complex.

  2. Compare and contrast The Echoing Green with The Schoolboy by William Blake

    we learn how, in their youth-time, "girls and boys...were seen on the echoing green". The blend of the old and young villagers portrays a real sense of community, and when combined with the description of the "skylark and thrush", Blake manages to project a portrait of harmony and new beginnings.

  1. William Blake - Blake is angry and critical about the attitude and values of ...

    It also shows the youthfulness of the child because he is still happy and playful like a child. Blake is again critical of the church of England in this poem and shows he believes the parents use it as an excuse to mistreat their son when he says, 'gone to

  2. William Blake hated tyranny and celebrated liberty. Focusing on several poems from Songs of ...

    destroying it, as in the poem "London"; "Thy life Thames' waters flow" this strongly portrays a picture of England's natural imagery, which has also been corrupted by society. Not only does Blake feel that establishment corrupted love, "The Sick Rose" but it has also engulfed the natural and beautiful world

  1. William blake Poetry

    Can it be a song of joy?" this sentence juxtaposes the songs that the children sing it that it could a song of over flowing joy or a song of great sadness this bring a feeling of pity into the reader for the children as a cry being called a

  2. Pre 1914 Poetry William Blake

    Blake could have meant that England is rich in that there is fruit and food but it is poor because of the amount of orphans. He uses 'holy' to infer that England is a Christian Country and asks why babies should be reduced to misery and fed and looked after

  1. 'Modernist writers disturbed their readers by adopting complex and difficult new forms and styles'. ...

    Woolf implies a concept of time as a series of life conjunctures rather than impersonal. These are established by the presence of sensory phenomena in different contexts such as the sound of Big Ben, the common perceptions among unrelated observers, for instance, the prime ministers car.

  2. To what extent do major sporting events boost, local, regional and national economies?

    opportunity for the people of this great city to participate in the biggest multi-sports event the U.K has ever seen and to meet people from all over the Commonwealth', this therefore clearly illustrates the importance of the games, and the impact its having on the city of Manchester.

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