William Blake Essay by academic

William Blake
A biography of the life and work of the British poet, William Blake.
# 27690 | 1,535 words | 7 sources | APA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 16, 2003 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry) , Art (General)

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This paper examines the life and work of William Blake, an extraordinary British poet, painter, visionary mystic and engraver who illustrated and printed his own books. It discusses how Blake believed in the supremacy of the imagination over the rationalism and materialism of the eighteenth century and how this led to misunderstandings that over shadowed his career as a writer and artist. It details his life from his birth in 1757 and his lack of education to his death and burial in an unmarked grave in 1827. It evaluates how Blake's works never became well known in his lifetime, although his influence is apparent in the work of several painters who knew him when he was an old man, particularly Samuel Palmer and how only later generations came to recognize its significance.

From the Paper:

"While some of Blake's critics viewed him as a lunatic based on his works n the 1790s. Blake was merely reacting to the lack of liberty and justice of the events during this time. For Blake, the British war with France and the introduction of rigorous laws of civil disobedience were further instances of the hold which the authoritarian forces of Church and State held over the common people. Like Wordsworth, and Shelley and Byron a generation later, Blake was politically both a radical and a libertarian. Blake felt that the forces of youthful rebellion which had promised to usher in a new dawn in human consciousness swiftly gave way to the bloodshed and anarchy of the Reign of Terror and the imposition of new stricter forms of social control in both France and Britain. His works, from 1794 onwards, reflect a sense of the paradoxes and complexities of rebellion although, as his work shows, Blake remained committed to the principles of social, political, and sexual equality. "

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