Critical Appreciation Of The Sick Rose

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Although William Blake never went to school, he became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts as he learned the trade of engraver. Since he had a great verbal and visual talent, he began to combine words and images in a new way: engraving illustrations. His first book Poetical Sketches, a sophisticated work in which the poems reflect the literary interests at the end of the 18th century, already shows his dissatisfaction with poetic tradition and his endless search for new forms and new techniques. Starting with his work, Blake became, at the same time, author, sketcher, typographer and editor of his own books. The first, printed and illustrated by Blake with his new technique was Songs of Innocence (1789). It was made up of short poems similar to nursery rhymes and dealt with themes about (innocent) children. In 1794, not satisfied in writing only for children and without illustrations, Blake published another book to accompany the first, Songs of Experience, to which “The Sick Rose” belongs. The poems in the first book are more innocent, childish, while the second book explores darker issues associated with the industrial revolution, religion and education. “The Sick Rose”, for example, is not just about a rose that looses colour, but a worm (sometimes associated with the devil) that rapes the rose and destroys it with its dark and secret love. Together, the two books made up a double volume and illustrated collection with the title Shewing the Two Contrary States of the
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