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Ideologies of religion in William Blake's writing

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The Ideologies of Blake and his beliefs towards the society which he lives in. Intro: William Blake was born and brought up a Baptist, though he did not conform to any value within the Christian faith and even though he was married, he strongly believed that marriage should not be controlled under a legal procedure done by the authority, which at the time was the church, but instead should be fully based on what two persons feel towards each other and should be free to express that feeling. This idea is illustrated in Blake's poem, within the "Songs of experience", "A Little Girl Lost" where he asserts that "But his loving look, Like the holy book; All her tender limbs with terror shook". This passage features irony within the simile used in the line "like the holy book" which is then followed by the phrase "All her tender limbs with terror shook". This suggests that the loving look given by her father had made her feel the terror that could have been done by the holy book. Blake uses both religious imageries and literary devices derived from his profession and his religious status; where he's essentially a Christian but he had his own set of personal views about any significant events within Christianity. ...read more.


On the third stanza we are told that the boy is being led by his little coat and with following passage says that "And all admir'd the Priestly care", this is ironic because a priest is supposed to be a holy figure who does not adopt violence in their way of dealing with things but in fact, on the rest of the song we can see that the priest is abusing his authority to "take care" of the boy, such actions as stripping the boy to his little shirt and bounding him in an iron chain. The capital "P" reinforces this point as it conveys a sense of power and authority. Overall, the irony mixed with the illustrated images of violence and authority and power is used by Blake to convey his idea of how the organizations with the authority and the power are abusing it and harming people around them; with specific references to the church. Alternatively, Blake could have also been conveying his ideas of how the churches are starting to become more disconnected from God; where God wouldn't have resorted onto violence. In the fourth stanza Blake, once again, uses juxtapositions and metaphors within the poem to convey his ideas: "The weeping child could not be heard, The weeping parents wept in vain: They strip'd him to his little shirt, And bound him in an iron chain." ...read more.


Conclusion To conclude my points, Blake seems to be dismissing religion as unnatural, exclusive and restrictive and he believes that people should be able to pray and interpret the scriptures in their own way, without the help of priests. Blake also seemed to be very concerned with the social condition of the Britain that came with the Industrial Revolution. Above all, the whole poem is ironic as it illustrates upon how a priest punishes an innocent, small and pleading child; the fact that the priest, a messenger of God and a holy man is harming a small and innocent child is the reason for the irony. The violent and innocent imageries portrayed within the poem only further emphasize the irony conveyed within the poem. The irony portrayed within the poem is used by Blake to convey his idea of how he believes that organizations with authority and power are abusing their position and causing harm to the people around them. Alternatively, Blake could also be referring to his belief upon how he believes that the church is becoming more and more out of touch with God; where they're practicing unorthodox ways. If the church were ever to read Blake's work; they may pick upon some of Blake's criticism as some are obvious but some are quite subtle and well hidden that they may miss it. ...read more.

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