focused on biblical images in the majority of his poetry and prose.
Much of his well-known work comes from the two compilations Songs of
Innocence and Songs of Experience. The poems in these compilations
reflect Blake’s metamorphosis in thought as he grew from innocent
to experienced. An example of this metamorphosis is the two poems The
Divine Image and A Divine Image. The former preceded the latter by
of innocence and experience are a reflection of Heaven and Hell. The
innocence in Blake’s earlier poems represents the people who will
get into Heaven. They do not feel the emotions of anger and jealousy
Satan wants humans to feel to lure them to Hell. The poems of
experience reflect those feelings. This is illustrated by comparing
and contrasting A Divine Image to a portion of The Divine Image.
A Divine Image
gives human characteristics to the feelings of cruelty, jealousy,
terror, and secrecy. The poem begins, “Cruelty has a human heart.”
This implies cruelty is an innate part of humans. It resides deep in
everyone, just waiting for the right moment to emerge. The poem
continues, “And Jealousy a Human Face.” Cruelty can be a product
of jealousy. Jealousy is the driving force behind acts of violence in
countless poetry and prose prior to and beyond Blake’s writings. A
good example comes from Pope’s The Rape of the Lock. The Baron cut
Belinda’s hair out of desire for her, but Clarissa helped him
complete the cruel task by providing the scissors. She did so out of
jealousy because she was in love with the Baron.
The third line,
“Terror, the Human Form Divine,” represents the purest feeling of
humanity. People want to believe in God, but no matter how much they
want to believe the terror resides in their soul they are wrong.
Satan feeds off of this terror to make people doubt Heaven and come
towards Hell. Line four, “And Secrecy, the Human Dress,”
represents how well humans hide these feelings of doubt and terror.
these same lines in his poem The Divine Image. In his innocence,
“…Mercy has a human heart,/ Pity a human face:/ And love the
human form divine,/ And Peace the human dress.” This represents the
acts and feelings associated with Heaven. To be with God and obtain
peace, humans must show mercy, pity, and love for others. That is the
direct opposite of the secrecy of cruelty, jealousy, and terror
humans begin to feel.
lines of A Divine Image describe how humans mask these feelings. “The
Human Dress is forged Iron,” suggests humans protect themselves
with their class and status. It is their weapon against the world to
keep others from knowing of their terror. “The Human Form, a Fiery
Forge,” suggests Hell begins within. ‘Forge’ also means to
falsify which suggests an internal struggle because of the false
appearances of the human dress.
Face, a Furnace seal’d,” supports this argument. The face is a
mask that keeps the truth of the struggle from emerging. It hides the
cruelty, jealousy, and terror. The concluding line, “The Human
Heart, its hungry Gorge,” suggests Blake feels humans crave these
negative feelings. It means the struggle between Heaven and Hell will
exist in everyone because it is innate in the human heart. That is a
sad conclusion to reach because it means no one can truly be at
Blake was an
expressive and complex writer. The metamorphosis of his writing from
Songs of Innocence to Songs of Experience suggests he dealt with
personal turmoil in his life revolving around religion. It appears he
believes he cannot keep himself from Satan’s lure any longer.
WilliamBlakeEssay, ResearchPaper T.S. Eliot once said of Blake’s writings, “The Songs of Innocence and the Songs ... child’s innocence, and man’s experience. A little over two centuries ago, WilliamBlake introduced ...
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WilliamBlakeEssay, ResearchPaperWilliamBlake’s works include many of ... who appear in Songs of Innocence and Experience. The poems I ... are, from the Songs of Innocence: “The Little Girl Lost,” ... poem from The Songs of Innocence, “The Little Girl Found,” a ...
WilliamBlakeEssay, ResearchPaper With detailed reference ... and mankind. In his innocent years, Blake saw the world as ... round mouths representing their innocence and purity, their ... Brodie s Notes on WilliamBlake s Songs of Innocence and Experience Pan Books ...
WilliamBlakeEssay, ResearchPaper To some people WilliamBlake is just an ordinary man. To others, Blake ... on his way to heaven. WilliamBlake’s religious faith affected every ... were called “Songs of Innocence.” Blake engraved both words and pictures ...