Romantic Period Notes I

Romantic Period Notes I - 1 William Blake 1757 1827...

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William Blake 1757 - 1827 Innocence -> Experience Develop self awareness When you fall out of innocence you become aware of yourself Blake is the enemy of excessive rationality Blake’s picture of Newton o Muscular male – tough controlling manly man who wants to control everything o Newton king of rationality physics, calculus o Blake believes this is the wrong direction and it will not save humanity Blake believes we are too “manned up” Blake believes we have lost the power to empathize which has a direct connection to imagination. City Dweller – London Was an engraver Experimentalist not interested in representation Blake and his wife made the books by hand he was an engraver and a mystic. Married, childless Loved state of childhood innocence Illustrated his poems – multimedia Was a free thinker – rejected conventional beliefs Was an eccentric Mystic – saw his brother’s soul raise from his body Spiritual but not religious Critical of social institutions – state, military, church Blamed church for children dying from chimney sweeping Blake is an ardent democrat – people’s right to self determination Anticipates Freud’s idea about repression o Blake believes most problems are due to repression Come out in bad behavior, dreams, binges, displacement Blake talks about ways to deal with repression Blake strongly affected by lack of child labor laws – hates child labor Was against slavery 1
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Blake as an Artist Worked in several different media Engraver Painter – visionary painter Book Designer – book designer book layout Poet Wrote book length poems Visionary poems Singer Three ways his drawings work: Simply Illustrations Integrate the poem Add meaning to the Poem o Drawing and Poem become one Songs of Innocence and Experience 1794 Illustrates all his talents Were designed to be sung- they are lyrics Cover Adam and Eve leaving heaven – this is the point at which they lose innocence and move to experience Songs of Innocence published in 1789 Then wrote Songs of Innocence combined with those of experience A lot of self-referentiality in Blake. Like on the “I” in the innocence cover. There is a figure with a hat and pipte. Blake was known for wearing that hat. Frontispiece – An illustration that immediately precedes the title page of a book Illustration is the poet as a shepherd pipe in this hands looking at an child above his head. The sheep are behind him. o Sheep are a conventional image of innocence (goes with introduction poem) 2
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Songs of Innocence 1789 Title Page o picture, two children stand at their mother’s knee reading a book below an apple tree.
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