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GCSE: William Blake

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Blake and the Romantics

  1. 1 Blake along with Wordsworth, Keats, Byron and Coleridge are all associated with the Romantic movement in Europe in the late 18th century and early 19th century.
  2. 2 The Romantics sympathised with the 'common man' and supported the American and French revolutions.
  3. 3 Considered mad in his lifetime Blake was a seminal figure in the poetry and art of the Romantic age and some of his poetry has been said to be 'prophetic'.
  4. 4 Some critics have said that Blake is 'far and away the greatest artist Britain ever produced'.
  5. 5 Blake, along with other Romantics hated what the industrial revolution had done to Britain's cities especially London and idealised the countryside.

Blake's ideas and expression

  1. 1 Blake had progressive ideas and saw visions of angels throughout his life. He was deeply philosophical and mystical he was very religious but criticised organised religion.
  2. 2 He was a member of the free love movement and likened some marriages to slavery saying that marriage was 'legalised prostitution'.
  3. 3 In Songs of Innocence and Experience Blake embraced the standard Romanticism of the innocence of childhood.
  4. 4 In the Songs of Experience Blake shows how innocence is lost by fear, political, social and economic corruption and how people are oppressed by the church, government and the ruling classes.
  5. 5 Blake illustrated the poems themselves and they follow the ideas of Milton's Paradise Lost and the fall which he had illustrated previously.

Things to consider when writing essays on Blake's work

  1. 1 Blake's poems are deceptively simple but contain strong symbolism and liberal messages concealed within their regular structure and rhyme schemes.
  2. 2 Focus on the question by referring to it in the introduction, conclusion and by writing topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph.
  3. 3 Analyse and do not describe the content of the poem.
  4. 4 Make sure all poetry terminology is accurate to demonstrate understanding of poetic techniques.
  5. 5 Always consider what you know of Blake's life and strongly held beliefs - the themes of social conditions, the poor, corruption, industrialisation, the church and marriage are present in all of his poems.

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  1. Compare and contrast the poems 'London' by William Blake and'Composed upon Westminister bridge,september 3,1802' by William Wordsworth.

    Both poems are written in a typically romantic way,even though William Blakes "London" has a negative veiw of London as a city. One example of "london" being written in a romantic way is at the beginning of the poem: "I wonder through" this is seen as typically romantic because of the words used i.e wonder and also most poems use languege like that in most poems.He also repeats himself alot with words such as "In every" which is also typically romantic.William Wordsworth is writing about his love of London by describing it in a personal level he writes: "Never did

    • Word count: 935
  2. In this essay I am going to talk about the subject matter and style in which the opening of Wise Children is written. Throughout most of the book, the story is told in a first person narrative style

    'the side the tourist rarely sees' being labelled as a place in which 'the poor eked out miserable existences in the South'. But what Dora is saying, more importantly what Angela Carter is saying, is that this divide is disappearing, no longer can you distinctly see the split between the different classes and the cultural background that relates to them 'There's been a diaspora of the affluent'. Magic realism is also used throughout the novel. Magic realism (or magical realism)

    • Word count: 1220
  3. Comparison between, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by William Blake

    Wordsworth follows the traditional sonnet form of fourteen lines each with ten syllables and a structured rhyme scheme. The sonnet is usually associated with romantic love poetry, so before even reading the poem it provides the reader with a good idea of the attitude of the poet towards the city of London. Wordsworth's vocabulary is romantic and he links the city with the countryside. He also personifies London describing the city a beautiful woman. "This City now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare," Blake's poem has four verses and follows a set rhyme scheme

    • Word count: 992
  4. Write a detailed comparison between "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth September 3 1802 and "London" by William Blake.

    When Wordsworth says; "Dull would he be of soul," This shows that he thinks some people are insensitive. As well when Wordsworth says; "This City now doth, like a garment, wear," This is a simile he talks about London as if it is a person. When Blake's writes his poem he sheds light on the problems of London although he is a major fan of London. Most of the people at this time could not read and so Blake thought that if he wrote a poem people who could read would be influential because they are literate, so for this reason he wrote a poem on the bad points of London.

    • Word count: 1255
  5. Compare and contrast Blake and Wordsworth's view of London William Wordsworth and William Blake both wrote popular poems about London

    He uses logical and considered tone in the structure of "London." Wordsworth's sonnet is a very, romantic and optimistic poem about London. To Wordsworth, London is beautiful, as beautiful as the countryside or a more natural landscape; he doesn't see all of the urban buildings and busy streets. Unlike Blake, Wordsworth sees the natural splendour of the capital "the beauty of the morning" rather than the dreary way of life Blake focuses on. Wordsworth only chooses to see the beautiful "garment" that London wears to cover up the grimy and gloomy city behind it.

    • Word count: 938
  6. Compare the ways in which Wordsworth and Blake describe LondonIn 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' and 'London'

    Composed on Westminster Bridge is a poem set at sunrise "The beauty of the morning" "Never did the sun more beautifully steep" and shows London as a calm and beautiful place. The writer shows London to be the most beautiful place there is and that nothing can compare to it "Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!". Wordsworth uses his poem to paint a picture, showing London to be beautiful and describing it using personifications " The river glideth at his own sweet will" to show he loves city as he would love a human being.

    • Word count: 746
  7. DISCUSS BLAKE'S PRESENTATION OF CHILDREN AND CHILDHOOD IN THESE POEMS. PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO LANGUAGE AND STYLE SOCIAL/HISTORICAL BACKGROUNG

    At this time a lot of children had to work as a result of the industrial revolution. One of the main child employments was to employ children aged between six and ten to be chimneysweepers. The chimneysweepers had a very hard life. Many of them became deformed because of the way they were pushed into small spaces. They were also prone to cancer and other deadly diseases. These children were mostly orphans or were sold as slaves. Although some of them were sent by their own parents to make money. The first poem that I will look at is London.

    • Word count: 1126
  8. Compare the view of London presented in the two poems and explain how it reflects the poet's attitude to the city. Both 'Symphony in Yellow', by Oscar Wilde, and 'London', by William Blake

    This could be Wilde's way of saying that maybe it isn't as beautiful as he makes it sound. 'Symphony in Yellow' contains enjambment with lines flowing into each other showing the flowing of the city. The poems are both structured differently. In 'Symphony in yellow' the first quatrain is about transport and movement across a bridge as it is talking about an 'omnibus' and a 'passer-by'. The second quatrain focuses on the docks and describes the 'wharf' and the 'quay'. The third quatrain moves again to talk about 'Temple' and the 'Thames'. It is almost as if Wilde is sitting at a distance and slowly looking around and taking things in, describing each bit in turn.

    • Word count: 1783
  9. Compare and Contrast 'The Chimney Sweeper from Songs of Innocence and Experience.' You Should Pay Particular Attention to the Content as Well as Blake's Use of Language.

    ' As all men are alike tho' infinitely various.' [William Blake.] Blake believed that innocence and experience were the two contrary states of the human soul, and that true innocence was impossible without experience. The disastrous end to the French revolution caused Blake to lose faith in the goodness of mankind. As religious as Blake was, he believed there was some kind of bad side to religion; he believed that children lost their innocence through exploitation from a religious community that put dogma before mercy. In this essay I will explain why Blake believed that religion caused a corruption in the innocence of children and also I will compare

    • Word count: 1680
  10. In my essay I will give some information on William Blake's history and also compare five different poems. The poems I will compare are "London", "The Chimney Sweeper

    A poem thought to be like this would inevitably be associated with Blake. Blake was not blinded by rules, but approached his subjects wholeheartedly, with a mind not distracted by current affairs. On the other hand this made Blake an outsider. He approved of free love and sympathized with the actions of the French Revolutionaries but the reign of terror disturbed him. He believed that as all men are born equal, that there should be only one social and economic level. Royalty such as Kings and Lords were seen as being in a league with the devil as they regarded themselves as being above other men.

    • Word count: 5495
  11. Compare and contrast the presentation of London in composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth and London by Willia

    The poem is set in the cramped back alleys of London, which are associated with restriction and oppression. It is in the middle of the day, when the factories are alive, and the people are living their pointless lives, therefore Blake will be seeing London at the height of activity. Wordsworth is written in 1802 and describes more of the architecture and the buildings that he can see from the distance it can look rich and wealthy from the outside but this is just a mask of the grime London in the streets and the decaying horrible society that London has been moulded into.

    • Word count: 997
  12. "To say the word Romanticism is to say modern art- that is intimacy, spirituality, colour, aspiration towards the infinite, ex

    The perspective that Blake uses also shows that he is projecting his own Romantic feelings onto London. He uses the first person, "I" repeatedly throughout the poem and also opens with it. For example, "I wander", "I meet" and "I hear". This illustrates that his view of London is subjective. The poem is also written in the present tense and this gives the sense of living the experience with the narrator. Thus the poem seems more immediate and intimate. The imagery used in Blake's poem is also depressing and there are many examples of aural, tactile and visual imagery.

    • Word count: 2664
  13. What different views of London do William Blake and William Wordsworth depict in their poetry?

    The poet is describing the city and its view as beautiful and wonderful. The poet is also thinking that this is the best place on Earth. The poet's mood is one of awe and splendour. You know this by how the poet writes and describes what it is like in this wonderful place. The poem has 10 syllables on each and every line. The rhyme scheme is A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, C, D, C, D, C, D. This is very effective because it is a very hard rhyme to pull off and very hard to find rhymes for every line.

    • Word count: 1970
  14. WHY WERE THE MAJOR CITIES OF BRITIAN BOMBED BY THE GERMANS IN 1940-1941

    The bombing also caused disastrous disruption to other aspects of everyday life. Like I've already indicated, the mere destroyed or damaged houses wasn't the only problem; school life was interrupted, families were homeless, and worst of all children were separated from their parents through the evacuation system. Evacuation was introduced at the start of World War Two so that young children were safe from the cities that were considered to be in danger of Nazi bombing. In addition, getting the masks on and getting in to the shelters wasn't also the only problem, everyday life was extremely affected in that also gas and electricity was cut off, which caused immense difficulties.

    • Word count: 641
  15. "Benjamin Franklin-More Than a Revolutionary"

    Benjamin had many other careers in his life he was a printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and a scientist. Benjamin had many inventions that improved our live such as the first library, the Franklin stove, and the first volunteer fire fighter company. All of these inventions we still use today. The library we use to take out books for free and return them on time. We use the Franklin stove to cook our food.

    • Word count: 443
  16. Mr Blake's views on "upon Westminster bridge" I read Mr Wordsworth's poem. I was dismayed by his views on London

    One day I was walking through the streets of London and it sprung upon me to write a poem. This is my view on the real London. I opened the poem with the line "I wonder through each chartered street" I used this word wandered to make it seem as if I was freely roaming the streets not knowing where I was or where I was going. As if I was lost down the back streets of London. Chartered street carry's the mark of changed and revolutionised London. All the streets seemed dull and grim and had something mysterious about them.

    • Word count: 628
  17. In William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, many of the poems correlate in numerous aspects. For example, The Chimney Sweeper is a key poem in both collections that portrays the soul of a child

    These lines are describing the main character Tom Dacre's dream during the night. Many of the innocent young boys that labored as chimney sweepers were killed in the dangerous profession and potential death was always a concern. After Tom's dream was documented in the poem, an Angel appeared possessing a "bright key" and "he open'd the coffins and set them all free." The Angel with the bright key to free all of the deceased juvenile boys portrays the innocence and purity of the chimney sweepers. In addition, the Angel also told Tom that "if he'd be a good boy, He'd have God for his father and never want joy."

    • Word count: 842
  18. Explore the different ways the poets describe the city of London in their poems

    It brings in the idea of belief, opposing the idea of "weakness" in Blake's poem 'London'. In this poem, Blake talks of a "black'ning church" this suggests poverty and destruction. Blackened literally by the smoke and pollution in the air, and perhaps blackened metaphorically by the misery within the city. The colour black immediately brings bad thoughts to the mind, thoughts of danger and despair. On the contrary, Wordsworth appeals to the reader's senses by describing the sun as "bright and glittering in the smokeless air".

    • Word count: 890
  19. Appreciation for London by William Blake

    A perspective that the reader could adopt is the word is suggesting a proud independence of a city. Repetition is one of the most significant features that Blake uses in the poem. Blake's repetition is domineering, this is used too emphasise the aims and images that Blake is trying to express to his audience. Blake repeats the word "mark" twice in the second stanza to express different meanings to the audience. The first "mark" is a simple meaning of to notice. However "marks of weakens, marks of woe" are physical signs of the suffering that Blake can see in London.

    • Word count: 515
  20. Analysis of 'The lake of Innisfree'

    He says he'll make it out of clay and wattle, both natural materials. He has a similar fantasy to Robinson Crusoe's adventure. The idea that he'll be self-sufficient, growing what he eats and living off nature. He specifies exactly what he's going to have on the island with the phrase 'nine been rows will I have there' gives the idea its something he's always wanted. Its also a definite number, he doesn't want 6 or 2 he wants 9. This shows that he's planned it out carefully and again gives the idea that he feels strongly about this fantasy.

    • Word count: 859
  21. London is a city which was never planned.

    Several of London bridges have special features - Hammersmith Bridge has ornamental metal work and Vauxhall has larger than life bronze figures representing pottery, engineering, architecture, agriculture, science, fine arts, local government and education. Among the boats which ply the river, few attract more attention than the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race. London was founded by the Romans in 43 A. D. and was called Londinium. In 61 A. D. the town was burned down and when it was rebuilt by the Romans it was surrounded by a wall.

    • Word count: 1532
  22. Stone cold is a book written by Robert Swindells

    is still in the army and is on a mission to kill people especially homeless people on the streets, he makes his own recruits and then kills them brutally, he believes that he is making the place look tidier and cleaner.

    • Word count: 377
  23. Initial List of Intriguing cultural differences. There are no toilet seat covers in LondonPeople walk much faster here

    Their annoyance is displayed everytime you can see them stuck behind people walking slow and blocking their path. Crossing the streets is an adventure everytime, but after you know and respect the danger involved then it is not as dangerous as it first seems as long as you are cautious. Londoners on the tube will almost always completely everyone else and avoid eye contact at all costs. It is very hard to drive in London unless you are familiar with it.

    • Word count: 1043
  24. Compare and Contrast 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake

    'We are called by his name' (The Lamb) I think the message that Blake is trying to convey in this line is that it is God who calls us to discover him. He is saying that no one else has the power to tell you what to believe not even the church. God and the individual are the only ones privy to this ultimate power! His role as an engraver and artist is reflected in the details he gives about the two animals. In The Tyger he describes it as, 'burning bright.'

    • Word count: 2131
  25. A Detailed Comparison Of The Poems 'The Tyger' and 'The Lamb' Discuss How Both Poems Have Worked As An Effective Introduction To Blake's 'Songs of Innocence' And 'Experience'

    Observing that the gentle lamb is defenceless when compared to a predatory 'tyger', emphasises Blake's view that childhood innocence evaporates when it is challenged with the harsh reality of adulthood experience, corresponding to 'The Tyger'. "Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night;" This represents Blake's visionary quality as a poet, he uses the metaphor 'burning bright' to symbolise the distinctive fiery orange colouring of the 'Tyger' but also it contrasts with the setting. Choosing to make the forest of the night plural effectively conjures the image of a mysterious and hostile place, establishing tension and intrigue from the beginning, or perhaps it is a metaphor for the depths of our imaginations.

    • Word count: 1256

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