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The Divine Image - William Blake
Transcript of The Divine Image - William Blake
The Divine Image
By William Blake
(Songs of Innocence)
Mood / Atmosphere
Five quatrain stanzas
Iambic tetrameter/iambic trimeter
Varying rhyme scheme:
abcb adad efgb gbgh ijkj
Steady melodious flow throughout the entire poem
Earnest & didactic, but simplistic
As though the poem were lovingly written for the instruction of a child
As though describing a bright new future
The tone and the mood compliment each other.
The personified figures of Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love are listed as the four “virtues of delight.” The speaker states that all people pray to these in times of distress and thank them for blessings
because they represent “God, our father dear.” They are also, however, the characteristics of Man:
Mercy is found in the human heart, Pity in the human face; Peace is a garment that envelops humans, and Love exists in the human “form” or body.
Therefore, all prayers to Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love are directed not just to God but to “the human form divine,”
which all people must love and respect regardless of their religion or culture.
The poem does not explicitly mention Christ, but the four virtues that Blake assigns alternately to man and God are the ones conventionally associated with Jesus. Because Christ was both God and man, he becomes the vehicle for Blake’s mediation between the two.
"In heathen, Turk or jew," refers to those who are not of Christian faith
The poem constructs God in the image of man, whereas, in the Bible, God creates man in his image. The implication that God is a mental creation reflects Blake’s belief that “all deities reside in the human breast.”
This song is one that stands out in Blake's collection. The speaker praises both God and man while asserting an identity between the two. “The Divine Image” thus differs from most of the other Songs of Innocence, which deal with the emotional power of conventional Christian faith, and the innocent belief in a supreme and protective God, rather than with the parallels between these transcendent realms and the realm of man.
overall thematic message
God does not reside in heaven, but also within hearts. Due to this, human beings have God-like qualities. We are the divine.
In the third stanza, the speaker does not merely proclaim the
that human beings can embody these virtues. Instead, he suggests that they
embody these virtues.
In the second stanza, Man and God are compared. From Blake's description, they appear to be the same.
"Mercy," "Pity," "Peace" and "Love" are repeated multiple times. The repetition of all of these words create emphasis. Wherever you see a human with these honorable qualities, they are showing parts of God.
Mercy, Pity, Love, and Peace are personified.
These virtues of delight are what make up a divine form.
"For Mercy has a human heart" - Forgiveness is found in the heart
"Pity, a human face:" - Pity is show in facial expressions
"And Love, the human form divine,:" - Love is the best of all virtues
"And Peace, the human dress" - Peace shields us
Universal, human ideas are the embodiment of God. They are the divine in all of us.
"T Divine Image by William Blake : The Poetry Foundation." Poetry
Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.