A View on the Proverbs of Hell

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A view on The Proverbs of Hell
William Blake wrote the “Proverbs of Hell,” between 1790 and 1793 as a part of the poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” Blake was almost unknown as an engraver by trade, and even less known as a poet, which resulted in his poverty. His intentions of writing the “Proverbs of Hell” was to be a shock to those who read it in an attempt to shake their views on what was thought to be right and wrong (Panananen). Blake desired for people to think for themselves and shake the proverbial chains of bondage put upon the people by current religious laws (Monroe Poetry).

William Blake was born November 28, 1757 in the Soho district of London (Lindop). His father made his family’s living by selling gloves, stockings and other haberdasheries. Although Blake’s poetry is severely influenced by religion, there is little to nothing actually known about his parent’s religious life and how that may have influenced him. Many view Blake as insane due to his proclaimed visions with angles, prophets, and even God himself. (Parini) After Blakes brother had passed away he claimed he would come to him and help inspire his creative process. Blake’s parents were unhappy with these visions and his father even beat him on occasion for claiming to have them (Monroe Poetry).

Blake did not have a typical education; he is believed to have been taught to read by his mother while only having attended school for a brief due to beatings he received from other students (Lindop). His ability to draw and creativity resulted in him being sent to Pars’s Drawing school to hone his already great talent. As soon as he turned fourteen he started an apprenticeship as an engraver under James Basire. At the time engravers were regarded as skilled craftsmen instead of artists and Blake wished to become more than a “mere copier”, which led to his enrolment in the royal academy to become a professional painter; however, due to lack of funds he could not afford the schooling...
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