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William Blake's Life And Work Essay

2414 words - 10 pages

William Blake is widely considered the most controversial writer of his time because of the content included in his writing and his expression of good versus evil that is apparent in his paintings. In my essay the “Proverbs of Hell” is a great and very telling example of Blake’s natural and flowing poetry. He is considered by most a great role model in the history of art and his writings during the Romanticism time period. Romanticism was a movement that was developed between the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Romantic poets such as Blake were against the political, social, and spiritual abuses during their time. “ He told his parents he visualized “Angels in a Tree” at the tender age of nine. He had been homeschooled up until the age of eleven and had been writing poetry since he was twelve, eventually being sent to a drawing school which set the foundation for his love of all arts (French 51-54). He worked as a professional artist and engraver, later suffering from an impoverished lifestyle. He was able to invision the afterlife of members of royalty. Due to the misunderstandings of his work people did not embrace him or it and unfortunately thought it was strange, bizarre, weird, and downright baffling. In a far contrast from his artistic side his personal life was considered bland and stale. He was politically rebellious and mixed with radicals of his time. Blake strongly and openly criticized how the capital and industrialized system abused its people, killed children, and forced prostitution. Blake openly and defiantly attacked the English church because of its beliefs and thought that the doctrines were a form of social and mental control meant to encourage people to be obedient and accept poverty which Blake strongly hated and could not accept. Blake wrote two different volumes of poems, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. The Songs of Innocence were based on happiness, joy, and genuine undying love. The Songs of Experience were based on cruelty, hypocrites, and showed terrible suffering. The two different types of poetry were polar opposites of each other and varied drastically with both elements of happiness and sadness. William Blake’s artwork and writings exposes crucial social, political, and religious inequality during his time including, child labor, poverty, and church corruption.
To begin with, Blake’s poem “The Chimney Sweeper” is a perfect example of the horrors of child labor. Many people believe that his poem was inspired to be used as a voice of the victims of child labor and to force the lawmakers to review, pass and approve the laws against the use of children as labor. Blake believed that the victimized children should be able to stay innocent and pure and not be forced to working in severe and harsh factories at such a young age, which he believed robbed them of their childhood and forced them to mature too soon. “Some of Blake’s poems verbally illustrated the sad lives of these...

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