V6 Alquin Romanticism 48-57 William Blake

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Slide 1: Video
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This lesson contains 31 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 6 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 60 min

Items in this lesson

Slide 1 - Video

How well did you see the apple in your mind's eye? 0 = not at all, 10 = photo realistically.

Slide 2 - Poll

Slide 3 - Video

Slide 4 - Slide

Slide 5 - Video

5 facts about Blake

Slide 6 - Mind map

  • Poet and artist (trained as an artist). 
  • He illustrated his books himself.
  • Happy, but childless marriage
  • Radical political ideas
  • Pronounced failure during life
  • Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience
  • The Lamb and The Tyger
  • Two poems titled The Chimney Sweeper.

William Blake

Slide 7 - Slide


dreamworld - escape from reality - optimistic outlook on life


bitterness - distrust - accusation - awareness of circumstances - sarcasm

Slide 8 - Slide

Slide 9 - Slide

Slide 10 - Link

Which of the following statements best summarizes how Blake describes the tiger?
Blake depicts the tiger as a fearsome, dangerous animal that should be avoided.
Blake describes the tiger in terms of its light and dark elements.
Blake depicts the tiger as an awe-inspiring creature made artfully with powerful elements.
Blake describes the tiger as a peaceful part of nature that is unchallenged by its own origins.

Slide 11 - Quiz

How does the line “Did He who make the Lamb make thee?” contribute to the the development of the poem?
It implies that the tiger is actually a gentle creature like the lamb’s namesake, Jesus Christ.
It implies that God is cruel for making a dangerous tiger that can tear an innocent lamb to pieces.
It questions the judgment of a creator that would create such vastly different animals with such different components.
It reveals the creator’s incomprehensible motivation to create both a powerful creature like the tiger and a weak creature like the lamb.

Slide 12 - Quiz

Which of the following statements best describes the author’s purpose in this poem?
The author aims to explore the question of existence and how things came to be as they are.
The author aims to talk about biology and evolution by posing questions in a spiritual way.
The author aims to reveal a gap in human knowledge regarding where life came from.
The author aims to prove that only a higher power could create such a magnificent creature as the tiger.

Slide 13 - Quiz

Which characteristics of Romantic poetry can you find in this poem?

Slide 14 - Open question

What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Who do the immortal hand and eye belong to?
The Universe
The Christian God
Greek god/goddess
Mother Earth

Slide 15 - Quiz

What poetic devices can you find in the lines: What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
simile, onomatopoeia, alliteration
alliteration, metaphor, enjambment
enjambment, onomatopoeia, metaphor
metaphor, simile, alliteration

Slide 16 - Quiz

Did He who made the lamb make thee?------ Who does the lamb refer to?
A lamb is a lamb is a lamb
An innocent human being
A harmless human being

Slide 17 - Quiz

Slide 18 - Video

the first stanza 
The poem is told from the perspective of a young school-age boy who feels trapped in the monotony of everyday attendance to his studies. He speaks with the conscience of an older man, projecting the emotions and beliefs common to the Romantic poets, of which Blake was one.

The young narrator speaks about the things he loves in this first stanza. He loves “to rise in a summer morn” and hear the birds singing “on every tree.” Further, in the distance, he can hear the horn of the “huntsman” and the song of the “skylark” who seems to sing only for him.
 This is when he is happiest, a sentiment that many a Romantic poet has expressed. 

Slide 19 - Slide

the second stanza 

The second stanza presents the exact opposite— things that “drive all joy away!”

When he is forced to rise on a “summer morn” and go to school, unable to stay in his peaceful environment, he is unhappiest. He bemoans him, and his classmate’s, fate; that they are stuck inside, “In sighing and dismay.”

Slide 20 - Slide

the third stanza 
The young speaker continues on, telling the reader more about his miserable days at school. He sits “drooping,” hunched over in his seat. He takes no pleasure in school work and is anxiously waiting for the end of the day. He cannot even take “delight” in his book, or “sit in learning’s bower” as it has been all “Worn through” by rain.
It is clear from these lines that the child is not averse to learning in general, he appreciates reading and understands the joys that can be gained from encompassing oneself within the “bower,” or sanctuary, of learning. It is only the structure of school he cannot stand.

Slide 21 - Slide

the fourth stanza 
In the fourth stanza of “The Schoolboy” the speaker questions his reader, demanding an answer to a rhetorical question. 

He pleads with whoever is listening and asks how a “bird that is born for joy,” referring to himself or others that think like him, be asked to “Sit in a cage and sing?” 

He knows that he was made to learn, read, and write, but he cannot do so in school, a place he considers equal to a cage. 

Slide 22 - Slide

the fourth stanza 
The speaker questions his reader, demanding an answer to a rhetorical question. 
He asks how a “bird that is born for joy,” referring to himself or others, be asked to “Sit in a cage and sing?” 
He knows that he was made to learn, read, and write, but he cannot do so in school, a place he considers equal to a cage. 
He makes the case for all children trapped indoors. He professes to worry for their wellbeing and the fact that while they are inside, their “tender” wings drooping, they are forgetting the “spring” of their youth. These children, just like he is, are missing out on the joys of being a child. 

Slide 23 - Slide

the fifth stanza 
In the fifth quintet of ‘The Schoolboy,’ the speaker turns to address his parents as he sees them as the ones that could possibly change his situation. If only he can convince them to see things his way. In this stanza, he presents them with the reasons why they should not force him to go to school.
He speaks about his own childhood joys as being “buds” that are being “nipped” and “blossoms” that are blowing away. His happiness is delicate like the “tender plants” and he should not have to be subject to “sorrow and care’s dismay” at his young age. He need not feel so unhappy when he is only a child.

Slide 24 - Slide

the sixth stanza 

If all of the things stated in the fifth stanza happen if he is indeed stripped of his joy and given sorrow in return, then how can his parents expect the appearance of fruit in the summer. 
They should, he states, worry that due to their choices he will never be the same. He will be unable to stand the “blasts of winter” when they appear.
While this poem did appear in Songs of Experience, this child has yet to reach an age in which he will truly feel sorrow or despair. His youthful melodramatic appeal will fall on deaf ears.

Slide 25 - Slide

William Blake's poem London read and a few of his thoughts expressed:

Slide 26 - Slide

The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake

  • William Blake wrote two poems which he both called 'The Chimney Sweeper'
  • The first poem was published in 1789, the second one in 1794.
  • Both poems address the fate of young chimney sweepers from the 18th and 19th century who were often 'sold' by their parents to work in miserable conditions sweeping chimneys

Slide 27 - Slide

Slide 28 - Video

Slide 29 - Link

Slide 30 - Video

Slide 31 - Link