Blake's portrayal of religion

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How Far And In What Ways Does Blake Portray Uncertainty About Religion In The Poems Studied So Far? Religion is sometimes viewed as a primary theme and a motive for Blake’s work, but Blake illustrates to an extent, an uncertainty about religion in his poems. Blake’s poetry is rarely devotional, and rarely preaches, but instead, it concerns itself about the way in which religion affects life and behaviour whilst challenging it at the same time. Each of the poems depicts a different stance on religion, which may suggest the uncertainty. Blake’s attitudes can be seen through his living through the revolutionary upheavals of France and America where the old ruling ways were got rid of to be replaced with what society wanted. This caused dissenting attitudes to established religion It can be said that Blake uses his poetry to illustrate the way in which the Church has abandoned its true fundamentals. This is the view of the critic Professor David Punter, who in 2004 wrote that Blake’s poetry, demonstrates the way in which ‘the Church has resigned its duty if care and decisively sided with the ruling classes’. It was often known that Churches would accept money to absolve sins, which only suited those with money instead of the majority of society in the 1780’s. This is evident in the poem ‘The Garden of Love’. This poem from Experience does begin with an idyllic setting in the first stanza, but the hypocrisy of the Church and this society is clearly shown through the last two stanzas. The first verse illustrates the rural setting with the ‘Chapel...built in the midst’. This is the idyllic setting for the Church as it is ‘on the green’. The use of diction with ‘green’ and ‘love’ perhaps illustrate the supposed view of the Church, whereby it is supposed to be innocent. Yet, as this poem is in Experience, the undertones are much more obvious as Blake displays his

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