Presentation on theme: "William Blake. 1. Lead-in: Pre-Romanticism Pre-Romanticism 2. appreciation : Tiger and A sick rose Tiger and A sick rose 3. Comparison : Tiger and Lamb."— Presentation transcript:
1. Lead-in: Pre-Romanticism Pre-Romanticism 2. appreciation : Tiger and A sick rose Tiger and A sick rose 3. Comparison : Tiger and Lamb Tiger and Lamb 4. Major works Major works 5. literary contributionliterary contribution 6. Supplementary reading: the chimney sweeperthe chimney sweeper Outline of the lecture
Pre-romanticism When did Pre-romanticism appear? in the latter half of the 18th century What are the main features of Pre- romanticism? 1)Romantic Revival; 2)Strong protest against the bondage of Classicism 3)Claims of passion and emotion 4)Renewed interests in medieval literature
Pre-romanticism Who are the representatives? William Blake and Robert Burns What’s the significance? marked the decline of classicism paved the way for the coming of romanticism in England
Poem Appreciation 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 seize 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 water’d 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?
Questions for discussion What parts of the tiger have been described in the poem? Is it a realistic description of the tiger? What does the tiger stand for or symbolize? What does the poem glorify? In which year was the poem written? Any connection with the historical background? How to interpret the two lines “when the stars threw down their spears/ and water’d heaven with their tears”?
Question 1 What parts of the tiger have been described in the poem? eyes: burning bright in darkness/ fiery figure: in fearful symmetry heart: hard to twist its sinews; sturdy hand and feet: dreadful brain: framed in furnace; strong
Question 2 Is it a realistic description of the tiger? more than a literal animal a powerful force
Question 3 What does the tiger stand for or symbolize? powerful force with terror, mystery and violence eg: fearful symmetry, dread hand obscure in symbolic meaning
Question 4 What does the poem glorify? the tiger? the maker of the tiger? the magic of the creation?
Question 5 In which year was the poem written? Any connection with the historical background? in 1794 The storming of Bastille
French Revolution political and social upheaval Accompanied by violent turmoil (trial of the king, bloodshed and warfare From , France launched wars with Austria and Prussia
Blake’s political views Blake never tried to fit into the world, he was a rebel innocently and completely all his life. He was politically of the permanent left & mixed a good deal with the radicals like Thomas Paine and William Godwin. Blake strongly criticized the capitalists' cruel exploitation, saying that the "dark satanic mills left men unemployed, killed children and forced prostitution." He cherished great expectations and enthusiasm for the French Revolution, and regarded it as a necessary stage leading to the millennium predicted by the biblical prophets.
How to interpret the two lines “when the stars threw down their spears/ and water’d heaven with their tears”? heavy touch of religion allusion Satan’s revolt against God Question 6
Summarize the musical beauty of the poem trochaic (stressed syllable with unstressed syllable) to imitate the sound in a forge; alliteration (burning bright); assonance (tiger and night); sounds rhythmical; regular end rhyme repetition
Comparison The Tyger and The Lamb Read the poem “The Lamb”
The Lamb Little Lamb, who made thee Does thou know who made thee Gave thee life & bid thee feed. By the stream & 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 Does 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 & he is mild, He became a little child I a child & thou a lamb, We are called by His name, Little Lamb God bless thee, Little Lamb God bless thee.
Questions Who is the creator of the lamb? What does the poet glorify in his poems? Why does the poet mention the lamb in the poem of Tiger? Do you think the lamb and the tiger can illuminate each other?
God is omniscient Blake was an individualist, creating his own mythology.
A Sick Rose O Rose, thou art sick, The invisible worm That flies in the night In the howling storm Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. (1794) In what sense do you think the rose is sick? 1) an invisible worm had found out thy bed of crimson joy 2) the secret love has destroy thy life
Should there be any symbolic meanings for the night and the storm? If so, what meanings would you suggest? Rose---beauty, innocence, love, happiness Worm---wick, experience, hatred, “invisible” Bed---the flower bed----bed of crimson joy---bed of aspiration, desire the combination (dark secret love) has ultimately destroyed the life of rose--- turns into a sick rose O Rose, thou art sick, The invisible worm That flies in the night In the howling storm Has found out thy bed Of crimson joy And his dark secret love Does thy life destroy. (1794)
How do you comment Blake’s symbolism and mysticism? obscurity and ambiguity for rich literary associations
Blake’s literary achievements A symbolist, or a mystic; many poems are obscure and can be interpreted only symbolically His lyric poetry displays the characteristics of the romantic spirit. (visual images rather than abstract ideas) Natural sentiment and individual originality makes Blake a forerunner of the Romantic poetry of the 19th century.
Quotes The classical school knew enough the artifice, but little art.
Blake’s life and career got no education in school At 10, in Henry Par’s drawing school and exposed to Greek and Roman sculpture; at 14, he worked as an engraver and learned how to make copperplates; an artist with a style of his own: combined visual art with literature; never prosperous in his lifetime
Blake’s Etchings ( 蚀刻画 ) The lover’s whirlwind For Dante’s work The great red dragon and the woman clothed with Sun for the Bible
The Good and the Bad Angels
William Blake Elohim creating Adam 1795
Illustrator Dante and Vergil The Divine Comedy
Blake Links The William Blake Archive The William Blake Page William Blake: A Helpfile The Blake Digital Text Project William Blake’s Illustrations for The Book of JobWilliam Blake’s Illustrations for The Book of Job William Blake, Self Portrait
Main works Poetic collections: songs of innocence (1789) songs of experience (1794)
Prose The marriage of heaven and hell (1790) The French Revolution (1791)
Songs of Innocence Using a language which even little babies can learn by heart Presenting a happy and innocent world without evils and sufferings Everything seems to be in pious harmony. However, in “The little black boy” and “The chimney sweeper”, we find racial discrimination and sufferings of the poor.
a laughing child upon a cloud
Songs of Experience A much mature work Show the sufferings of the miserable It marks the poet’s progress in his outlook on life. To him, experience had brought a fuller sense of the power of evil, and of the great misery and pain of the people’s life. The symbol changes from the lamb to the tiger.
Songs of experience The lapsed soul weeping in the evening dew
Quotes To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. 一粒沙中见世界 一朵花中见天堂 将无限握在手中 瞬间中现永恒
Quotes “ The true Man is the source, he being Poetic Genius ” “ He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only. ”
Supplementary poem The Chimney Sweeper A little black thing among the snow Crying ‘weep, weep” in notes of woe! “Where are thy father & mother? say?” “They are both gone up to the church to pray.”
“Because I was happy upon the heath, And smil’d among the winter’s snow; They clothed me in the clothes of death, And taught me to sing the notes of woe. “And because I am happy, & dance & sing, They think they have done me no injury, And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King, Who make up a heaven of our misery”.
The Chimney Sweeper
Glossary woe: great sadness heath: an area of open land covered with rough grass and with very few trees or bushes Who make up a heaven of our misery: who together build a Heaven out of our misery “who” --- God and his Priest and King
Questions 1. What is the “little black thing” in the poem? 2. When the young child speaks of his “father and mother”, whom does he refer to? 3. What is the theme of the poem? How does the poet convey his view?
Summary The political and religious leaders, represented by God, Priest and King, are hypocritically pious. They maintain a sumptuous life, but ignore the poverty- stricken groups. Through the child’s simple statement, the poet intends to attack them for their indifference and ruthlessness.
Assignment for next lecture Read the poem “A red, red rose” by Robert Burns and try to answer the following two questions on the poem: 1)How dose the narrator in the love song express his love? 2)Why is this poem so touching to the readers? Why Robert Burns is labeled as a representative of Pre-romanticism? What are the main literary contribution of Burns in British literature?