Songs of Innocence and Experience

Songs of Innocence and Experience text guide

William BlakeAlthough Blake was a unique talent of his time, his poetry also reflects the world view and background from which he came. This was influenced by the Enlightenment, the changes in society due to the first stages of the Industrial Revolution, as well as Christian teaching. Blake, however, was not an orthodox believer - he re-interpreted most of what he read in the Bible to produce his own individual mythology.

Today many students will not be very familiar with the allusions in Blake’s poetry. Fewer still will grasp his mythology, which even critics find difficult and sometimes obscure.

Analysis of the poems

Echoing GreenSome believe that the Songs of Innocence were originally a separate project and thus the Songs of Innocence and of Experience as we have them now were not conceived and planned as an entity. Read more . . .

The world of William Blake

American War of IndependenceBlake’s was a time of turmoil arising out of challenges to established ideas about monarchy, hierarchy, human nature and human rights.  Read more . . .

Dive in to the Songs of Innocence and Experience text guide

Synopses of the poetry - Detailed analysis of the Songs of Innocence and Experience.

Songs of Innocence and Experience Timeline - Helpfully puts the historical and literary contexts alongside the life of William Blake so you can make sense of events.

Themes and significant ideas - Research themes and significant ideas, such as Blake's ideas about the concepts of innocence and experience.

Songs of Innocence and Experience - Read the poems and research the text, all for free and online.

How to do well in your essays

Decide what the key words of the question are, and underline them.

If you are asked to analyse an extract, read it through two or three times.

Do not adopt the first possible approach - be willing to dispute the terms of the question if you are given the opportunity.

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