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William Blake.

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Presentation on theme: "William Blake."— Presentation transcript:

1 William Blake

2 Biography Blake was not only a master at his poetry but also profound in his elaborate unusual paintings Blake used a process called “relief etching” which was very elaborate. It involved writing the text of the poems on copper plates with pens and brushes, using an acid-resistant medium. Illustrations could appear alongside words in the manner of earlier illuminated manuscripts. He then etched the plates in acid in order to dissolve away the untreated copper and leave the design standing. The pages printed from these plates then had to be hand colored in water colors and stitched together to make up a volume. The dragon on the clip before this is the dragon tattooed on Ralph Fiennes back, the actor from the notorious movie “Red Dragon” with Anthony Hopkins as the murderer and Brett Ratner as the ingenious director. William Blake influenced many writers and performers including the famous Jim Morrison who was the lead singer/songwriter of The doors. "When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite.“

3 The Tyger Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare sieze the fire? And what shoulder, & what art. Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? & what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

4 The lamb Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Gave thee life, and bid thee feed, By the stream and o'er the mead; Gave thee clothing of delight, Softest clothing, woolly, bright; Gave thee such a tender voice, Making all the vales rejoice? Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee? Little Lamb, I'll tell thee, Little Lamb, I'll tell thee. He is called by thy name, For He calls Himself a Lamb. He is meek, and He is mild; He became a little child. I a child, and thou a lamb, We are called by His name. Little Lamb, God bless thee! Little Lamb, God bless thee!

5 Explanation of the Tyger (Songs of Experience)
1-4: Many have considered this tiger representing the dark shadow of the human soul. This is the beastly part of ourselves that we would prefer to keep only in our dreams at night. Night in Blake's poetry often seems to suggest this sort of dream time. The forests might represent the wild landscape of our imagination under the influence of this beast. 5-8: Blake uses the metaphor of fire to describe the way the tiger sees and is seen. This is not the vision of the lamb. The tiger has fury and grounds to believe in its own strength. The tiger could be understood as similar to our psychological view of the ego. Our ego is the part of us that believes in its own power, in its own vision. It could be debated that Blake argues here that the Fallen Archangel Lucifer is the creator of the tiger, or the beastly part of our own nature. 9-12: The first 2 lines speak to the very power and strength of the tiger, and of its creator. Shoulders and art both carry responsibilities and burdens. Blake seems to be suggesting that the creator of this powerful creature is awesome in its own right. The heart represents not only the biological engine of the tiger, but perhaps its passion for living. Line 11 means the tiger now has a life of its own. Line 12 is an attempt to reconcile the wild beast with a sense of order about the universe and its workings. Can God have created a dreadful creature, and if so does this task make God's hands dreadful? 13-16: These first 2 lines Hammers, chains and furnaces sound like an industrial factory more than an artist's workshop. One of the themes throughout Songs of Experience is the condemnation of the Industrial Revolution. These lines could suggest that the encroachment of industry on the pastoral world of Blake's childhood was the tangible hell to which Blake was referring. The last 2 lines, The anvil is a tool of both industry and art. In these lines he confronts his worst fears about what it means to create. He never suggests however, that the tiger shouldn't have been created. 17-20: Lines 17 and 18 reinforce the idea of defeated and fallen angels. Lucifer's minions, when defeated and condemned to hell, were thought to have created the milky way with their tears. In the last 2 lines Blake finally asks the fateful question. Did the same God who made the lamb also make the tiger? If it is true, it suggests that God knows something that we human beings do not. It suggests that God has the capacity for tenderness and dread, and that neither one or the other is more pleasurable. 21-22: The lines are Blake using repetition to enforce his ideas and to ask us to take another look at the meaning. 23-24: This is a fearless immortal who made both the lamb, and the fiery tiger. It is significant that Blake chooses the word "dare" in the last line, instead of "could" because once again it emphasizes the concept of courage in relationship to creation. Finally, we must once again compare and contrast the beast with the tamed one, and consider the proper balance of nature framed by the hand of the Divine.

6 Blake's "The Tyger" is a poem about the nature of creation, much as is his earlier poem from the Songs of Innocence, "The Lamb." However, this poem takes on the darker side of creation, when its benefits are less obvious than simple joys. Blake's simplicity in language and construction contradicts the complexity of his ideas. This poem is meant to be interpreted in comparison and contrast to "The Lamb," showing the "two contrary states of the human soul" with respect to creation. It has been said many times that Blake believed that a person had to pass through an innocent state of being, like that of the lamb, and also absorb the contrasting conditions of experience, like those of the tiger, in order to reach a higher level of consciousness. In any case, Blake's vision of a creative force in the universe making a balance of innocence and experience is the real meaning of this poem.

7 Explanation of The Lamb (Songs of Innocence)
Lines 1-2 One of the most famous poems in Blake's collection Songs of Innocence, "The Lamb" establishes its theme quickly in the first two lines. When the narrator asks the lamb if it knows who created it, it is not calling attention to the biological parents. The narrator specifically asks about the nature of creation in the divine sense. The narrator doesn't think the creator is a what, but a whom, and this whom has the power to actually create life. Lines 3-4 The narrator implies much more than eating and drinking and the home of this little lamb with these two lines. The fact that the gift of life is connected to the command to live by natural, instinctual means hints at the nature of Divine Law. These lines suggest that life, the natural life of a lamb, is a divine creation. The landscape reinforces the natural over the urban. The fact that Blake fails to mention any kind of restraint upon the lamb may also be significant. Lines 5-6 These lines begin to suggest a second layer of meaning pertaining to the image of the lamb. They recall the swaddling cloths of the baby Jesus, and of his hair that was purported to be like "lamb's wool." The brightness of the lamb, and the brightness of Christ, comes from within, and also demonstrates their ability to reflect light. The whitest lamb reflects the most light. Lines 7-8 The reference to the lamb's voice suggests a double meaning. Of course, the bleating of lambs sounds very "tender," but Blake refers also to the voice of Christ. The words and the speech of Christ are often thought of as "tender" because they acclaim love and "rejoice" in life itself. The "vales" also have an additional meaning. Vales are valleys, and so here the narrator once again asks us to think about the concept of landscape, surroundings and how we are influenced by them. Lines 9-10 With this new repetition, we have a new perspective on the lamb. This repetition emphasizes the largess, the grandeur of creativity. Specifically, we are called upon to contemplate the creation of both a biological lamb and a figurative lamb. We are asked to consider their relationship to each other, and to the Divine.

8 Lines 11-12 Only now does Blake introduce his narrator in the form of "I." We can guess that this "I" could be Blake, or we could suppose that it is the piper represented in "Introduction to Songs of Innocence." The identity is probably not as important as the idea that this person seems to understand at some level the nature of creation, and is enthusiastic to share with the lamb and with the reader what he or she knows! The repetition hints once again at the double, subtle nature of the lamb as a concept. Lines 13-14 Now the speaker brings the double definition of the lamb into a more obvious light. There can be no mistake that not only does the narrator refer to a biological lamb, but he also refers to Jesus Christ in the image of the lamb. Since he is writing about the nature of creation itself, then we can begin to draw conclusions about what Blake believes to be true about the spiritual as well as the mundane. Why does Blake use the word "call" twice? Perhaps, it is to illustrate the idea of being "called" into service of the Divine. Since this is a poem about creation, perhaps Blake hints that to be called to creativity is divine. This is a theme that is seen again and again in Blake's poetry.  Lines 15-16 These lines give reference to Christ's message that "the meek shall inherit the world" and the concept that gentleness and love is the ideal way of behaving in the world. Blake's narrator also links the behavior of the Divine to the behavior of a little lamb. Then he makes further connection to the idea that the Creator and the little child are one and the same. We also can guess that Blake sees creativity as a child-like occupation. Furthermore, the fact that the Divine decided to actually come into the world, as any child would, gives us an understanding of our own nature. Lines 17-18 Blake has fun with language in these two lines. The mystical relationship between "I" and "thou" has often been the very definition of God. The equivalent value of the child and the lamb, suggests a divine connection and comparison between the human being and the Divine, and the higher consciousness and lower unconsciousness. Remember that psychology as we understand it in the twentieth century did not exist in Blake's era. This concept of dual consciousnesses may have surprised Blake's readership. The fact that he emphasizes this idea with the second of the two lines can only serve to tell the reader that there has been no mistake in interpreting the connection. Both human child and animal child have an equal relationship to the Divine in both name and quality. Lines 19-20 The repetition here serves to complete this concept with a blessing. The narrator's revelation is now fully revealed. He blesses the lamb, himself, and the Christ with enthusiasm.

9 Works Cited
"The Tyger." EXPLORING Poetry. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, Student Resource Center - Bronze. Gale. North Allegheny Senior High School. 18 May "Explanation: The Lamb." EXPLORING Poetry. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, Student Resource Center - Bronze. Gale. North Allegheny Senior High School. 18 May < &source=gale&srcprod=SRCS&userGroupName=pl2552&version=1.0>.              "Explanation: The Lamb." EXPLORING Poetry. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, Student Resource Center - Bronze. Gale. North Allegheny Senior High School. 19 May

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