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A Comparison Of Blake's Treatment Of His Subject In "Songs Of Innocence" With That In "Songs Of Experience".

1112 words - 4 pages

A comparison of Blake's treatment of his subject in "Songs of Innocence" with that in "Songs of Experience".William Blake is a poet of the Pre-Romantic era. He is one of the poets who set the path for Romanticism, where poets emphasized on emotions, they believed in the power of imagination and experimented with new ideas and concepts. Blake was a mystical poet and he felt that he was in communion with supernatural powers and with God.The Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience, a series of lyrics, were first published as a combined volume in 1794, although the Songs of Innocence were first written in 1789, and the Songs of Experience in 1793-'94.The "Songs" are a set of thematically related lyrics organised by a general principle of wishing to show the juxtaposition between the state of Innocence (seen from the eyes of youth) and that of Experience (seen from an adult perspective).There are two aspects of Blake as a poet; one being the simplicity, depth of meaning and profundity as seen in the Songs of Innocence. In the Songs of Innocence, there is an idealistic point of view. They are poems, which have hope in life, and the world is seen from the eyes of a child. These poems emphasise on naïve world, unexposed to the evils and corruption. There is a feeling that ' God is in heaven, all is well in the world.' The mood in these poems is cheerful, joyous and bright. The second aspect deals with the disillusionment in human life. In the Songs of Experience, a great deal of emphasis is laid on social criticism, world-weariness, and combination of energy and violence. The mood in these poems is that of fear and instability.Blake's own summary description of the Songs of Innocence and Experience, that they show "Two Contrary States of the Human Soul" offers perhaps the best way of approaching this thematically organised set of lyrics. "Innocence" and "Experience" are, for Blake, two complementary but also conflicting states of the human soul, and states within all of Creation: neither is "better" than the other, and both are necessary to the other.In the Songs of Innocence, there is a sense of divine immediacy and love, that there is an all-pervading presence of God. This is seen in "The Lamb". This poem shows a tremendous sacrifice made on God's part for all mankind. It illustrates God's great love for mankind. "The Lamb" depicts the faith of a child; there is no doubt in the child's mind as compared to the perplexed speculations of an adult in "The Tiger". In "The Lamb" we can see the God of love and compassion whereas in "The Tiger" we see the God of experience, the God who is wrathful, who is not as benevolent as the God seen in the Songs of Innocence. Forces of fear, terror and destruction in the Songs of Experience replace the sense of security in the Songs of Innocence. The ferocity of the tiger is contrasted with the innocence of the lamb. The treatment of the subject matter and theme is simple in the Songs of Innocence and it is...

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