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William Blake - Critical notes


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William Blake

Critical notes: William Blake was a highly independent artist, poet and engraver. He wanted to keep his art free from any kind of restriction. He lived in isolation and his approach to art, society and lif 515h74f e was unconventional. He was ruled by instinct, he refused reason, balance, order, form, judgement and any kind of limit, constraint and rule. He was a free spirit, his freedom was political, social and intellectual. He criticised and denounced slave trade, children and women explotation and the appalling conditions of slums. He was a visionary poet and he believed that man's highest faculty is imagination. Man is imagination and imagination is god. Man has lost the possibility of using his imagination because of the many restrictions imposed by reason and society. The poet is not a superior being but he's able to use his imagination.

William Blake is one of the most important romantics. He produced poems and pictures as he was both a poet and an engraver. His masterpiece is "Songs of Innocence and Experience".

Songs of Innocence and Experience: this work is important since its preface is about the main features of the Romantic period:

importance of nature and rustic life

use of simple language

poetry as expression of feelings and passions

return to simplicity

1st part regards the state of childhood, its innocence and purity

2nd part regards the lost of innocence caused by corruption and moral laws, this state is inevitable and necessary.

The language of songs is simple but effective and its result is a smooth and musical rhythm, they seams to be songs or nursery rimes because of the use of repetitions of words and sounds (alliteration, assonance and consonance).

The work is characterised by dualism (the two aspects of human mind): -innocence: child is not corrupt by society_ pureness


-experience: adult is corrupt by society_ corruption

Blake is against progress as it corrupts society.


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