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

How does Blake use form, structure and language for effect in the Songs of Innocence?

Extracts from this document...


How does Blake use form, structure and language for effect in the Songs of Innocence? Blake uses many devices in "Songs of Innocence" to have a profound effect on the reader. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the sybolism used in the poems is the symbol of children to represent the pure and uncorrupted in society. Blake portrays an image of innocence and vulnerablitlity in the poems by using several devices such as questions and answers and chil-like style to create a naive mood. 'Little lamb who made thee, Dost though know who made thee... Little Lamb i'll tell thee, Little Lamb, i'll tell thee'. The general form used is simple, using structures such as regular rhyme and rhythm to convey ideas about innocence and give a simple and innocent quality to the poems. The predictability and simpleness of the style is intentionally child-like to emphasise this message. The regular rhythm emphasises the hymn-like quality of the poems when combined with the spiritual matter in the poems, and make them seem joyful and youthful. ...read more.


The Introduction to "Songs of Innocence" sets the scence for the style of poetry, using simple diction and a lyrical quality in the poem. Positive adjectives used, such as 'happy', 'merry' and 'pleasant', are words frequently repeated in many of the poems. They set the scence for the idyll of perity that is followed through the poems, using two-syllabled, positive, joyful words to emphasise the theme of childhood and innocence. Blake reitterates the idealistic effect in many of the poems, using vivid visual imagery such as 'green woods', 'dimpling stream', 'happy groves', 'green fields' and 'the sun descending in the west' to portray an perfection in nature. This reflects the theme of innocence in the poems, making them seem more childlike and emphasising the naive and unrealistically optimistic view of the children in the poems. Words such as, "tender," "meek," and "woolly" when used to describe the Lamb emphasize the Lamb's gentle nature and comforts and reassures the reader. The use of parents, parent hood and images of this,'Near my bosom', 'Mothers smiles', is evident in many of the poems and emphasises the comforting and reassuring aspect of the poems. ...read more.


Many of the poems are very simple in their message but in his poems such as "The Chimney Sweeper" and "The Little Black Boy", a very political theme is apparant and the pedagogical tone emphasises Blake's message. The symbolism of black/white, pure/corrupted to express the injustices of society. The symbolism of soot, 'spoiling' the 'white hair' of the boy expresses Blake's concern about the repression of the young that is expressed in many of the opther poems. Similarly in "The Little Black Boy", 'I am Black, but O! my soul is white' and 'bereav'd of light' symbolise the purity and innocence of the young and uncorrupted against the sinnister and corrupted world. In "The Chimney Sweeper", his repetition of 'weep' emphasises the sorrow and compassion that Blake feels for the injustice. Both of these poems mirror symbolism found in the other as well as in the rest of the poems. Both use clouds as symbols of society's blind and unforgiving ways that stop the light of virtuousness and beauty from shining through. Both include images of lambs, a common theme throughout the poems to symbolise both God or Jesus and the innocence and purity in the world. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 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 University Degree Blake essays

  1. Explain how Blake uses imagery, form and language in these poems to express his ...

    Blake uses sibilance, a technique that gives the lamb a gentle sound when he says "Softest clothing"; he also then personifies the lamb, which could be interpreted as the lamb is Jesus. Refrain is then used in the last line of the first stanza to keep reminding the reader than a child is speaking and to increase the insistent tone.

  2. Discuss the way Graham Greene's use of childhood informs your reading of the short ...

    She retreats, and will continue to go through life with an experience that may be of value to her. The reader doesn't know whether she will be the same person, after finding this world of experience. She may flip into the insecure life on occasion unlike Phillip who completely retreats.

  1. How does William Blake use symbolism to comment on society in Songs of Experience?

    By studying these themes, a very accurate picture of the speaker and learning about innocence and experience is gained. Unlike other poems, which illustrate innocence as something to be treasured, this poem illustrates a sad innocence that is better grown out of.

  2. The Little Black Boy.

    Secondly, the mother teaches the boy underneath a tree. She says to the boy that black body is the evidence which God loves them more than the white, but she doesn't have respect for her black body and presents it as only 'a cloud' which will vanish soon or 'a shady grove' which they will come out from soon.

  1. Free essay

    Carefully read the poem 'Washing Day' by Anna Laetitia Barbauld. Write an essay of ...

    The weather is an important and recurring theme in the poem. It is presented as 'evil' and uncontrollable, with potential to ruin the women's hard-work and efforts. The pertinent use of the exclamation mark at the end of line 22, emphasises their angst in appealing to God to spare them the misfortune of rain.

  2. How does Blake convey his thoughts and feelings towards the treatment of children in ...

    The idea of a new morning arriving also supports the idea of new hope for a better future.

  1. How does Blake convey his feelings about kids representing vulnerability in society? Blake's Songs ...

    Experience thus adds a layer to innocence that darkens its hopeful vision while compensating for some of its blindness. The style of the Songs of Innocence and Experience is simple and direct, but the language and the rhythms are painstakingly crafted, and the ideas they explore are often deceptively complex.

  2. 'Romanticism was revolutionary.' In what ways is this statement true or untrue?

    Blake's cynical and distrusting attitude towards religion can also be noted in The Tyger. In this poem Blake poses the question to the tyger: 'Did he who make the lamb make thee?'

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