William Blake As A Poet And Artist During The Romantic Period

1317 Words Apr 18th, 2016 6 Pages
William Blake was a poet and artist during the Romantic Period. His first published work was a collection of poems protesting war, tyranny, and King George III’s treatment of the American colonies. Then in 1789 his Songs of Innocence were printed followed five years later by his Songs of Experience. These were a contrast of the states of the human soul. The Songs of Experience spoke out against the monarchy and the church; they were published the same year that King Louis was executed during the French Revolution. Blake was a supporter of both the French and American Revolutions and one can see his radical outlook on the way the country was being run in his poetry. One piece that stands out the most about his idea of life, specifically around him, can be found in his poem “London.” Taking a more in depth look into the poem one can see just how bleak Blake saw the lives of the people around him.
In the poem “London” the persona wanders through London and finds the people, the streets, and even the river suffering under political oppression. Signs of misery and moral despair can be seen in the face of everyone he/she passes. From the infant, to the harlot, to the soldier one can imagine this complete picture of misery Blake paints out. Blake begins the poem, however, not with the people but with the street and the river Thames.
In the first stanza lines 1 and 2, “I wander thro’ each charter’d street,/Near where the charter’d Thames does flow,” (Blake 1469) the word…

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