Which of the poets discussed in this course do you find most interesting? Choose two or three of his poems and explain why these works interest you. (Be detailed and specific; use quotations to clarify and illustrate your discussion.)
To eat or not to eat the cookies – that is the question. William Blake is one of the most popular English romantic artists. He was a painter, a sculptor and a poet. I find him most interesting as his poetry touches problems which are timeless and I may say that a latter-day person asks himself the same questions concerning religious matters as Blake did.
He used his poetry as a powerful instrument of social comment. He believed, that his vocation was to teach people how to return to the a different, ancient – like perception of religion and the world around. People living in Blake’s times generally were aware that they have lost something valuable, what the ancients did have – purity, some kind of naivety and respect to the word around.
But they also believed that they are so much sophisticated that they would never return to the roots.
For that reason he was not understood by people of his times, as Blake himself had an opposite view on that matter. He would encourage everyone to release form systems they are imprisoned in. He believed that people at that times were living in an imprisoned society. Imprisoned by many different systems like political system, religious system or philosophical system. He also believed that a person consists of two parts, physical and spiritual part. He was convinced that if everyone would release his soul – his spiritual part, that would make him a happy human being.
William Blake as a great poet wrote many different poems, but I would like to introduce two of them, representing two extremely different points of view about religious beliefs. “The Lamb” and “Garden of Love”. Both of them I find real and still up to date.
The first poem is called “The Lamb”. The poem is a small child’s song in the form of a question and answer. The first part is rural and descriptive, while the second focuses on abstract spiritual matters. The child’s questions are both naive and profound. The poem begins with the question, “Little Lamb, who made thee?” The speaker asks the lamb about its origins and praises the lamb’s looks and voice. The child’s answers reveal his confidence in his simple Christian faith and his innocent acceptance of its teachings. By the words “For he calls himself a Lamb”, reader can be sure that the lamb symbolizes Jesus.
The traditional image of Jesus as a lamb underscores the Christian values of gentleness, weakness, and peace. The image of the child is also associated with Jesus ” He became a little child ” . In the Gospel, Jesus displays a special solicitude for children, and the Bible’s depiction of Jesus in his childhood shows him as guileless and vulnerable. These are also the characteristics from which the child-speaker approaches the ideas of nature end of God. This poem, like many of the “Songs of Innocence”, accepts what Blake saw as the more positive aspects of conventional Christian belief.
The second, opposite point of Blake’s view is described in the poem “Garden of Love”. It is about a person going to a place where he used to play as a child. “I went to the Garden of Love, where I used to play on the green”(..) Reader knows that this place was once an enjoyable place where the person, in that aspect a Christian adult, used to feel happy and peaceful. As he goes to the Garden of Love, he finds a chapel that had never been there before. (..) “And saw what I never had seen: a Chapel was built in the midst.” The Chapel represents the invasion of Christianity into a pure land. Chapel, where he finds himself as a child becomes a place of melancholy and sadness. Once the man reaches the Chapel, he finds that the doors are closed, and that he cannot enter. “And Thou shalt not. Writ over the door,” Hence, it reflects Blake’s cross attitude to organized religion and God.
Reassuming and trying to answer the question at the beginning I would say that, the two poems reflect two different points of view concerning religious beliefs and peoples attitude to God. But it also reflects dualism of human nature. When we are children we are free from the notion of evil and rules. We accept, without questioning, our nature. We are pure and gentle and tend to follow our natural instinct of answering our basic needs of being happy and loved – other words as children, when put into making a choice, we would eat the cookies because it would make us a pleasure.
But as we become adults, we are supposed to follow the system of rules made by an institution called The Church, and making ourselves a pleasure is then forbidden. Pleasure is in Christian world regarded as a sin. A grown man’s perception to God and religion consists of prohibitions and orders. I fully agree with Blake’s point of view and I dream of a world of grow -up children.
Cite this Duality of human nature by william blake
Duality of human nature by william blake. (2016, Jun 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/duality-of-human-nature-by-william-blake/