Blake and Shelley : a comparative study

Walsh, Kirby (1970) Blake and Shelley : a comparative study. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In this thesis comments upon the personalities of Blake and Shelley and the direction of their work as social, moral and political reformists laid the groundwork for a discussion of the importance of the imagination for both poets. The imagination shaped their lives as well as their art. It is the creative principle and is considered as essential in human life, for only the imagination raises man above the level of the beasts. -- Within this life, Blake and Shelley saw two opposing states. The first, that of Innocence, is one of full imaginative existence where reality is subjective. The second state, Experience, sees the world in terms of the 'wasteland' - its reality is objective. In Blake 'mysticism' consists of the unity of God, man and nature; in Shelley it is given a touch of the Platonic transcendental state. -- Blake uses complicated symbolism in his Prophetic Books, but elsewhere it is less intricate and often in line with Shelley's symbolism. Some individual images are used to the same purpose by both poets, such as the Cave and Snake; others, like the veiled woman, conflict. -- Having dealt with some of their philosophy and their imagery and symbolism, the discussion proceeds to their mythology. Blake is unique here, in the strict sense of the word, in his creation of new mythology. Shelley's importance lies in his reshaping of old myths. Their mythology is of great importance to their total world views. The natural affinities of certain of the main characters of Blake's and Shelley's mythology arise from their symbolism and function. Their tyrants, symbols of the fallen world, often show their similarities in their destruction of all forms of liberty. -- Finally, the results of Blake's and Shelley's imaginative quests come with the perfection of the apocalypse. Good had vanquished evil and the triumph of imagination is complete.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 7148
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 137-142.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1970
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822; Blake, William, 1757-1827

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