Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Blake and Wordsworth Versus Society

Although scholars classify both William Wordsworth and William Blake as "romantic poets", their writing styles and individual perspectives differ tremendously. Wordsworth, though he is not so blind as to ignore the strife that is prevalent in everyday society, tends to focus on more positive aspects of life, and chooses to dwells in an existence where silver-lined clouds float gently above pansy-blanketed fields. Blake, on the other hand, is more of a realist. He focuses on the many injustices humankind has suffered at the expense of industrialisation and on the malignancy of society.

William Blake's "The Tyger" clearly shows the speaker's jaded view of society. "The Tyger" laments the advent of civilisation in the 18th century. The speaker does not necessarily oppose industrialisation in itself; the evil he sees lies in what society has done with new technology. The tiger that Blake drew at the bottom of the poem appears to be caught in a state of wide-eyed wonder and astonishment. He certainly has the potential to wreak havoc, but in this moment of time, he seems to be reluctant to do so. This beautiful creature must be exposed to the proper conditions in order to respond in such a way.

In...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 739 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4400 literature essays, 1441 sample college application essays, 178 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in