Songs of Innocence and of Experience

William Blake’s The Human Abstract: Comparison and Contrast: A Critique of “The Divine Image”?

“The Human Abstract” offers an alternative analysis of the virtues of Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love that constituted God and Man in “The Divine Image”, and can be thus considered a companion poem. The speaker argues that Pity could not exist without poverty, and that Mercy would be unnecessary if everyone were happy, and that Peace derives from fear, which gives rise to “selfish loves”. Cruelty personified plants and waters a tree in “the human Brain”, and utilising and expanding on this gardening or tree metaphor, the roots of the tree are “Humility”, the leaves are “Mystery”, and the fruit is “Deceit”, thus suggesting that negative human characteristics actually stem from originally valuable, noble virtues. On the other hand, it could be said that Blake’s “The Divine Image” of “Songs of Innocence” attributes the virtues of Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love to the human form while giving God the glory for the creation of humans in His own image. This suggests that the biblical reference of God making man in his image is true, reflected in the last two lines of the poem, "Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell/ There God is dwelling too". This analysis will compare and contrast the two poems “The Divine Image” and “The Human...

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