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William Blake

Life
• Born into a family of poor origin
• Deeply aware of the great politics and social issues of his age
• Was a political freethinker and supported French Revolution
• Strong sense of religion
• The most important literary influence in his life was the bible
• He had not much friends, the most important were his wife and his brother who, apperead in Blake’s dreams showing him how to create his unique style.
Blake the artist
• He attended to a drawing school
• He studied Raphael and Michelangelo’s works. From the latter he learnt to represent muscular bodies
• Connected visual arts with writing creating illuminated printing
• Many of his paintings had religios subject or scene from the Bible or Dante’s divine comedy
Blake the poet
• He rejected neoclassical literary style and themes

• He stressed the importance of imagination
• He believed that ideal forms aren’t created form the nature’s observation but form imagination
• He wrote two collections of short lyrical verses: Songs of Innocence and Song of Experience.
• The first is in the pastoral mode and is full of symbolic images like the lamb, childrens and flowers, all connected with happyness and innocence because he wrote this collection before the French Revolution.
• The second is more complex and a more pessimistic view of life emerges in these songs that are connected with adulthood and experience.
Blake the prophet
• Blake wrote some prophetic books like: the marriage of heaven and hell,America, Europe.
• Trough his works he attaks the repression of human energiesby conventions and his need of joy and freedom.
• He published them with paintings couloured by himself
Complemetary opposites
• Blake believed in the reality of a spiritual world but he tough that Christianity was responsible for the fragmentation of the consciousness and the dualism that charachterise man’s life. So he has a vision of complementary opposites like male and female,good and evil,reason and imagination.
Style
• Blake used a complex symbolism but his language is simple
• His verse are characterised by repetitions
Blake’s interest in social problems
• He supported the abolition of slavery and the egalitarian principles of french revolution
• In his poems he simpathised with the victims of industrial society

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