WILLIAM BLAKE (1757 - 1827) referat





Blake gave the final blow to the Age of Reason in considering Imagination as the most important of the human faculties and consequently in exalting the spirit over the body and the instinct and intuition over education. In this way Blake anticipates the themes of Romanticism. Besides other romantic themes are the exaltation of art as a creative vision, his sympathy with the sufferings of the poor and his attack on the values of the eighteen century. Another theme is freedom, in fact he believes, like Rousseau that (" man is born free and everywhere he is in chains") so he exalted the American and the French revolutions. His love for justice and freedom led him to oppose to any type of institution, including church and state, to symphatize with the oppressed classes and even to support the vendication of women's rights. Blake considers God as inside the man, making him coinciding with the imagination, the creative and spiritual power in man. At the same time God is also inside the lamb and the tiger for a pantheistic vision of world. Thus God is both cruel, tyrannical and mercyful. Hence the function of the poet as a seer or prophet. Blake's lyrical poems alternates harshly realistic and satirical descriptions of the squalor of the contemporary world and visions of the spiritual world, which is the ultimate reality and is infinite and eternal. In the collection Songs of Innocence Blake describes the condition of a child, who, for his innocence due to his young age, is still close to his divine origin and partakes of eternal truths. But man cannot remain a child forever and, growing, he must know not only joy, but also sorrow and must be tested by experience. Innocence and experience are both in the human soul and they are mixed differently in men and children. Blake, as the same way of the other romantic artists considers the art not as a reproduction of the reality, but as a research and inquiry of the human soul finding in it good and evil feelings, which, like innocence and experience, are complementary and in eternal opposition.


Interpretations: his poems must be symbolically interpreted and he takes his symbols from the natural world. So he creates a supra-sensorial world, that is important to understand the hidden meanings of the natural phenomena. Style: in Songs of Innocence there are plane sentences, repetitions, simple words and language, short sentences, parataxis, lullaby and the tone is happyful, pleasant and joyful, to reflect an optimistic view of human nature. In Songs of Experience there are difficult words, ipotassy, harsh sounds, dreadful concrete nouns, repetition, negative nouns and the tone is indignant and accusating to reproduce the sense of guilt

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