To truly understand William Blake, there must be at least moderate explanation of the time in which he wrote. Blake was a literary figure at the turn of the 18th century, a very early Romantic, but most defiantly a Romantic. All of the common themes, visionary, fantastic images, emphasis on the individual self, the common man, the notion of "the "sublime"( a thrilling emotional experience that combines awe, magnificence and horror)", Pantheism. All these decidedly Romantic ideas are prevalent in Blake's poetry. The use of imagery from nature, (for example, "flowers of London"), would later become a staple, but at this point still a novelty. All these characteristics delegate William Blake as one of the "fathers" of Romanticism, one who defined the genre.
The Age of Romanticism, 1789-1832, these years were some of the most tumultuous in the history of the world. Three Revolutions swept the world, the French, American, and Industrial; these events, the growing mistrust of the Church, and others would forever change the way people perceived things. This heightened awareness created a fertile soil for a new style.
The shift in power, the rise of the middle class, these events began to break down the elitist style of the Augustans. Poetry became a medium from one man to another rather that some divine being creating some incomprehensible work, which could never truly be understood by the common man. Instead poetry became more effortless, to anyone's' benefit. These are the basic characteristics of Romanticism. "For the first time, people became aware that there were parts of the personality beyond the access of ordinary consciousness, "the self""
Today, in the modern world with psychoanalysis and horror movies almost cliché, this is nothing, but at that time these ideas were rocking the world. His mysticism caused him much trouble, even in a time of change these ideas were...