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A STUDY OF WILLIAM BLAKE
- A STUDY OF WILLIAM BLAKE
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- 대학원 영어영문학과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- Partly owing to his peculiar method of publishing his writings, partly owing to the comparative seolusion in which he lived, Blake had no influence on English literature before the mid-nineteenth century, though Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southy, and Lamb knew and admired portions of them. Genuine interest in his poetry acted from the middle of the 19th century. His ideas were then found to be in harmony with new ethical and spiritual tendencies.
Great and marvellous as his mystic prophecies are, it is due chiefly to his translucent lyrics that he can appeal to the human hearts. It is on account of this that he seems to have been near the heart of the romantic Renaissance. The whole temper of his genius was essentially opposed to the classical tradition, with its close regard to reason and Intellectual appeal, and with its distrust of enthusiam.
Blake valued orifinality above immitation which the creed of the eighteenth century classicists. He disdainfully said;
Englishman, rouze yourself from the fatal slumber into which Booksellers ＆ Trading Dealers have thrown you, Under the artfully propagated pretence that a Translation or a Copy of any kind can be as honourable to a Nation as an Original...No Man Can Improve An Original Invention... Nor can an Original Invention Exist without Execution, Organized ＆ minutely delineated ＆ Articulated, Either by God or Man.
Blake living in the world of his own original invention, his views of religion, his conception of the beautiful, and his social outlooks were limited to his own territory. Vast and profound as his visionary world was, it was all in all his own. personal one, and not everyone's That is what T. S. Eliot regrets.
After praising Blake for his profound interest and knowledge of human emotions, and for his extremely simplified, abstract from in which the emotion are presented, he points out Blake's defects:
Blake was endowed with a capacity for considerable understanding of human nature, with a remarkable and original sense of language, and the music of language, and a gift of hallucinated vision. Has these been controlled by a respect for impersonal reason, for common sense, for the objectivity of science, It would have been better for him. What his genius required, and what it sadly lacked, was a framework of accepted and traditional ideas which would have prevented him from indulging in a philosophy of his own, and, concentrated his attention upon the problems of the poet. (1)
For all his defects no one can deny that Blake is a great genius. His first volume of lyrics contained songs such as had not been sung for more than a century. In brief he is representative of the new age in the congenital enthusiasm of his passion for freedom, the largeness of his vision, his faith in imagination, and his lyrical thought. In our own day his realization of the force of the subconscious have attracted new attention to him, and the intellectuals have a tendency to try to solve the problem of spiritual chaos with his message.
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