William Blake William Blake Life.
William Blake was born in London in 1757. When he was ten years old his father sent him to a drawing school where he knows the works of Raphael and Michelangelo. Than he became an apprentice to a famous engraver and started to draw the monuments in the old churches of London. He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts and later he married Catherine Boucher. William Hayley, a poet, offered him patronage, but their relationship wasn't successful because Blake didn't follow the orders of Hayley. He spent the rest of his life in poverty and he died in 1827. Main works.
Blake's works can be divided into 3 groups: - his earliest works are his best known: Poetical Sketches; Songs of Innocence, in which Blake thinks that child is the symbol of innocence and he lives in a condition of freedom, happiness and imagination. Only the child and the poet can find the truth in everything because they are innocent; Songs of Experience, in which emerges a more pessimistic view of lie, with a powerful symbolism used by the author. It was published in 1794. In this work experience is identified with adulthood; The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, is a mixture of aphorisms, anecdotes, proverbs, in which Hell and Satan represent liberty and energy while Jehovah is a malevolent god. The proverbs attack the repression of human energies; The French Revolution; The Visions of the Daughters of Albion; America. - the second group of works shows Blake's elaboration of a personal and obscure mythology: The Book of Urizen; Europe: a Prophecy; The Song of Los. - in third group Blake presented his fully developed mythological conception: The Four Zoas; Milton; Jerusalem. Influences on Blake's works. His values were against the patterns of the Enlightenment: his poetry in fact can be considered the triumph of imagination. His rebellious attitude was influenced by the social and political ideas of some leftwing radicals and claims of free thinkers like Voltaire and Diderot. Blake became a visionary and believed in the power of his visions. The two most important literary influences in his life were the Bible and Milton, because they presented a total vision of the world and its history. “Complementary opposites”. He was a religious man but he thinks that the Church was the responsible for the fragmentation of consciousness and the dualism that dominates over everything in the world. According to Blake, inside a thing or a man there are both Love and Hate, both Reason and Energy… Blake thinks that these things aren't “contraries”, but “complementary opposites”; without the complementary opposites there isn't Progression: they are necessary to human existence. This two states coexist not only in the human beings but also in God. Imagination and the poet. Blake thinks that with the imagination we can know the world. Only God, children and the poet have the power of imagination: for this reason they can see the real