Impressions Of The People And Society Blake Lived In

1783 words - 7 pages

Impressions of the People and Society Blake Lived In

In this essay I will be exploring William Blake and the Romantic views
expressed in his poems. Romanticism was an early and artistic way of
looking at things which ended with Victorian age. Romantic’s supported
freedom of thought, movement and life style and were against
oppression of any kind. Romantic’s saw children as the future and were
against child labour and the snatching of childhood. They saw the
negative affect on life due to industry and viewed industrialisation
as blameworthy for enslaving people and their ‘masters’ treated them
badly. Romantics felt all people should have rights and be respected.
Blake was a romantic born in 1757 and died in 1827; he was born into a
time of a developing industrial revolution, in which he wasn’t in
favour of. He preached his romantic views in his poetry and painting.
He had many views including his strong belief on the innocence of
children, this caused him to hate all child labour and show disgust to
the world he was living in. William Blake felt hatred towards groups
of people that he felt forced oppression such as the church and the
royals. He disliked the church even though he was a profoundly
religious man and found his spiritual life inspired much of his
writing and painting. Though he was a Christian, he didn’t accept the
orthodox doctrines and the authority of the Church of England and, as
time went on, he developed his own symbolic version of the faith.
Blake was also completely against child labour and oppression against
the lower classes this is shown in his poems along with his coldness
towards the poverty and disease he saw blossoming next to ‘flowers of
London town’.

The first poem I have chosen is ‘London’ by William Blake, this is
written in quatrains using an alternate rhyme scheme to create a
walking beat and together with the first line ‘I wander thro’ each
charter’d street’ it gives us a sense of movement. The first line uses
the word ‘I’ which immediately tells us it is the poet, William Blake
that is talking. The title of the poem seems to build up to
expectations of hope and colour though the poem destroys all of these
ideas. For me, when I begin to read this poem I sense Blake has no
sense of direction and isn’t really taking notice of his surroundings,
this message is delivered by the use of the word ‘wander’. The word
‘chartered’ is also used here, chartered is a word with two meanings
and here it could mean ether one of the two; it could be referring to
the mapping of the streets, as maps were being made of London at this
time, or it could be used to express a dirty and restricted River
Thames. Blake is against all oppression and hates the fact, the once
most free thing, The Thames, is now forced to follow the path between
buildings and is completely controlled with dams and bridges. Blake is
found repeating the word ‘every’ this expressing a fact; no one
escapes this...

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