Critical Analysis of a Divine Image

Topics: Industrial Revolution, Christianity, Original sin Pages: 2 (651 words) Published: April 6, 2009
A Divine Image in Songs of Innocence is a very idealistic form of the more realistic poem in Songs of Experience. In an ideal world the four traditionally Christian virtues ‘Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love’ would be found in the human heart. During the industrial revolution, Blake’s time, these virtues were replaced with the less perfect qualities of mankind; instead ‘Cruelty, Jealousy, Terror, and Secrecy’ reigned supreme in the human heart. In Christian faith it is believed that mankind was made in God’s own image, we were perfect in all ways as we were made in God’s image but Eve ate fruit from the tree of knowledge and then tempted Adam into doing the same even though they had been told not to, thus condemning future generations into a sinful existence. Since that moment humankind has been seen as sinful. We are born sinners. In the first poem Blake brings forth the beauty of mankind being created in God’s image and in the second we see the greater picture, we see how sinful and terrible mankind really is and that we truly are sinful creatures and are nothing of what the bible tells us to be. The world prays to ‘Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love’ in times of distress and thank them for blessings bestowed upon them as they are representative of ‘God, our Father dear’. Through the personification of these four virtues they are made more human, and so making us seem more divine, as though we are purer than we really are. Personification is used in the same way in A Divine Image in Songs of Experience but coupled with a harsher grouping of words bring about a completely different effect. In the second poem ‘Cruelty has a human heart, And Jealousy a human face; Terror the Human form divine, And Secrecy the human dress’, it is much more than a stone’s throw from the image created in the first poem. Mankind is depicted as a beast, a creature with ‘Cruelty, Jealousy, Terror, and Secrecy’ reigning in its heart. In A Divine Image in Songs of Innocence Blake does not only...
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