Shakespeare and Blake Essay

Pages: 4 (1412 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature


This description of Tom Dacre gives him attributes of innocence that is associated with religion. Blake further elaborates on this religious symbolism by stating that Tom Dacre dreamt "that thousands of sweepers…were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black.//And by came an angel who had a bright key/And he open'd the coffins & set them all free" (lines 12-14). This descriptive dream parallels religious writings in which Jesus Christ descends into Hell and released souls trapped therein. This parallel is further highlighted in the second half of Tom Dacre's dream in which the freed chimney sweepers "naked and white, all their bags left behind,/They rise upon clouds and sport in the wind [and] if he'd be a good boy,/He'd have God for his father, and never want joy" (lines 21-24). The use of religion to emphasize the chimney sweeper's daily struggle helps the reader understand that the children work these types of jobs not because they want to, but rather because they have to. The children in this poem do not have any material possessions and their only possession is the faith that the next life will be better than their present life.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Shakespeare and Blake a Prevalent Assignment

"The Chimney Sweep" in Songs of Experience builds upon the conditions that force young children into dangerous jobs such as sweeping chimneys. Furthermore, this version provides insight into the factors that have lead poor boys to become chimney sweepers. The chimney sweeper in this version of the poem is described as a "little black thing amon the snow" who works as a chimney sweeper "because [he] was happy upon the heath…They clothed [him] in clothes of death, and taught [him] to sing the notes of woe" (line 1, 5-8). Like the chimney sweeper in Songs of Innocence, this chimney sweeper is often seen "Crying 'weep! weep!' In notes of woe" (line 2). Ironically, when asked where his parents are the chimney sweeper replies "They are both gone up to church to pray" (line 4). The chimney sweeper contends that his parents "think they have done [him] no injury,/And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,/Who make a heaven of our misery" (lines 10-12). The last stanza demonstrates that parents hired their children out due to the desperation that they had; parents had no other choice but to use their children as a source of income. Moreover, the contention that the parents are "gone to praise God and his priest and king" further indicates that they were grateful that they had children who helped to ease the financial burden. If these families were of a different social status, then children would not have to be hired out to work dangerous jobs such as chimney sweeping. The young, chimney sweeper finds it ironic that his parents have gone off to thank a God who systematically fills his coffers with the souls of countless young boys who are killed through their work because their families depended on the little, supplemental income they would provide.

Literary genres influence the manner in which these writers are able to express themselves. For instance, Shakespeare is able to further investigate the correlation between race and social status and how different characters in the play interpret these issues. Furthermore, Shakespeare is able to examine the political influences that surround these characters and the situations that they find themselves in. Additionally, by introducing and analyzing social issues such as racism and class/status in the form of a dramatic play, Shakespeare is able to convey his message to audiences that attend live performances, regardless of their literacy. On the other hand, poetry forces the writer to analyze a situation more directly and also allows Blake to juxtapose social issues with religious symbolism and allegory. The integration of social issues and religious symbols also provides insight into Blake's motivations and inspirations.

As Shakespeare and Blake both write about social inequalities more than a hundred years apart, it is evident that inequality has long plagued England and people have done whatever they have had to in order to survive, including sabotaging others as Iago did or sacrificing a child to provide for a family short-term. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Shakespeare and Blake" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Shakespeare and Blake.  (2012, September 21).  Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Shakespeare and Blake."  21 September 2012.  Web.  8 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Shakespeare and Blake."  September 21, 2012.  Accessed December 8, 2021.