William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience
A look at different ways to interpret The Songs of Innocence and Experience.
This paper takes a look at how Songs of Innocence and Experience is a portrayal of the continual conflict between innocence and experience.
The poems of William Blake’s `Songs of Innocence and Experience` are portrayals of the continual conflict between innocence and experience. Each poem tells different links of interweaved stories. For instance, the two `Holy Thursday` poems are being told simultaneously by different narrators and with different viewpoints. The Bard in the `Introduction to Songs of Experience` appears again in `The Sick Rose` and is again calling to an individual; perhaps this individual is the same character as the narrator at the end of `The Echoing Green.` By weaving through these stories and characters, Blake portrays views of innocence and experience as they appear in several characters. While these characters may not be the actual characters in previous poems, there is sufficient evidence to support the theory that the characters that are introduced are meant to represent the characters that have similar experiences to those which have been introduced earlier. Therefore, Blake defines a few different `type` of characters, whose types are defined by the amount of experience, wisdom, and maturity.”