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William Blake hated tyranny and celebrated liberty. Focusing on several poems from Songs of Innocence and Experience discuss to what extent this is evident.

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Introduction

G.C.S.E English Coursework - William Blake William Blake hated tyranny and celebrated liberty. Focusing on several poems from Songs of Innocence and Experience discuss to what extent this is evident. William Blake, author and illustrator of the 18th and 19th century had non-conformist emotions, which are represented in his poems from Songs of Innocence and Experience. Throughout his life he was a visionary and a radical, these two aspects of his magnificent genius can be seen as an independent idealism, as is believed today, or, as his contemporaries thought, a crazy man, born into the real world. These characteristics of this man may have been shaped by his upbringing, religion or due to the social and political changes that England was undergoing at the time. William Blake detested the tyranny in society, especially religious leaders who, as he felt, were corrupting the church. He felt that establishments and contemporary fashions under certain rules represented all the evils God illustrates for us not to set up. William Blake felt strongly and spoke freely of love. Some stories even say that he used to sit out in his garden naked with his wife. It was his undying love of his wife, which influenced him to write "The Sick Rose". The poem illustrates the power and evil of corruption as 'The invisible worm', which is invading the natural world of love (the "Rose") ...read more.

Middle

During the first two lines of "London" the repetition of the word "chartered" creates a strong sense of regulation; the repetition drums his hatred into the reader, allowing us to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of his emotion. It is the "chartered" living that Blake despises. "How the Chimney-sweeper's cry, Every black'ning Church appalls;" The young Chimneysweeper is a comprehensible reflection as to the way the world is being treated. The chimneysweeper works among the waste-dirt of the "Black'ning Church". "Black'ning" is a verb of incessant duration for Blake, showing the ever degraded and poorly run church, it also conveys what Blake sees as the corruption of innocence. The image of the chimneysweeper - serves this purpose also as black (evil & corruption) and the child (innocence) are juxtaposed; the imagery used also evokes visions of fire, child slave labour is thus another damning indictment on his society. The juxtaposition of black and the church also infers Blake's resentment and distrust of the Church - which is another image of innocence and goodness blackened - corrupted. In the majority of Blake's poems, there are phrases like this, which exploit the hatred that William Blake has for the Church and tyranny. Arguably because of Blake's hatred of tyranny, he had an undying love for freedom liberty and everything that symbolised it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here the classic images of light and darkness are used to represent good and evil. This was Blake's love of nature, the day and all that come with it but darkness came along with the industrial revolution, and the denaturing of England's countryside, something that William Blake cherished. Through Blake's poems we can see that he was a man full of inspiration and undying hope. Songs of Innocence and Experience gives us an image of an incredible man's views on the world that he was part of and, ultimately, paradoxically, loved but also detested. His utter hatred of the industrialised world as he knew it was relieved in his eccentric visionary ways and his idealistic views on the natural world as vividly portrayed in his poetry - particularly in "Songs of Innocence and Experience". Blake celebrates liberty in his poetry often using the image of innocence to do this. A radical opponent of Industrialisation and other factors that penetrated the society of his day such as imperialism, he attacks the tyranny wreaked by the institutions of the Church and Government in particular in his poetry using the vivid and heartfelt imagery for which he is now famed. It his perhaps his vehement hatred of the evils of the Establishment that drove him to rebel against it in a celebration of liberty through his poetry. Adam Darell ...read more.

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