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The Garden Of Love

English presentation on Blake's 'The Garden of Love'

EJ Jane

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of The Garden Of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
Christianity encroaches what was once
playful, contrast of 'midst' and 'green' emulates this.
The Chapel being 'built in the midst' creates a Gothic scene, it carries a melancholic ambience, dichotomising to the concept of 'play[ing] on the green', 'green' is equivocal:
-Growth, fertility and spring
-Village greens were a place of play and freedom
-Not owned by anyone, freedom from rules or demand of authority figures, this is something which, according to Blake, the Church overtly repels.
'And', is more casual, yet it could also emphasise the burdensome limits of the Church, it is similar to rant, Blake seems to show strong anger towards the Church.
William Blake 's
A presentation by Esther, Katie & Amie
Caspar David Friedrich
Monastery Graveyard in the Snow
'Tis Pity Act I comparison with A Little Girl Lost and The Garden of Love

A Little Girl Lost
Example #1
LGL: ‘Love, sweet love, was thought a crime’.
'Tis Pity, Giovanni: ‘must I not do what all men else may – love?’ Link: Forbidden love, the approach to the nature of their love

Example #3
LGL:, ‘the maiden soon forgot her fear’
'Tis Pity: ‘I durst not say I love, nor scarcely think it’.
Example #2
LGL: The consummation of love is presented in the poem when they are ‘Naked in the sunny beams delight’
'Tis Pity, Giovanni: ‘Let’s learn to court in smiles, to kiss and sleep’

'Tis Pity Act II comparison to with The Garden of Love, linking to A little Girl Lost

Putana's dialogue
Dichotomises with the poem, 'where I used to play on the green', 'Thou shalt not. writ over the door'
Act II. II
Soranzo to Hippolita
'Thy soul is
drowned too
deeply in
those sins'
Act II. V
Overt links with 'The Garden of Love'

'That Nature is
in Heaven's
position blind'
'if a young wench feel the fit up on her, let her take anybody, father or brother, all is one'
'The Garden of Love' figuratively depicts the Church's law which restrains, confines and socially controls those within it's reach. The concept of sin and damnation is prevalent in both the poem and the play, also akin to 'A Little Girl Lost' where the girl is scared of her father due to partaking in sexual love which would be deemed 'unlawful'.
'That so many sweet flowers bore.// And I saw it was filled with graves,// And tombstones where flowers should be.' Unlike 'Tis Pity, in Blake's poem, Nature does not override Heaven, she instead is devastated by Heaven, (the Church) which brings with it desolation, 'graves', 'tomb-stones', 'black-gowns'. It is a condemning law; one which the Friar whole-heartedly believes shall be the instigator of Giovanni and Annabella's death, being slaves to sin. Friar Lawrence, like the priest, is seen by Giovanni to be 'binding with briars...[his] joys and desires.'

The Garden of Love
Love/ Forbidden love/Sex
Death, decay, destruction
The first 2 stanzas have a rhyme scheme of ABCB.
The last stanza has a rhyme scheme of ABCD.
There is an eternal rhyme in the last line.

'Tis Pity Act III comparison with A Little Girl Lost and The Garden of Love

'Love, sweet love, was thought a crime.'
Compared to: "but a woman’s note.”

Giovanni knows that Annabella isn’t a virgin, and this shows how even though they love each other, their love is forbidden and is a ‘crime’.
'Youth and maiden bright,
To the holy light'
“to live and die a maid” – page 99, scene 2 – to show their innocence and how they view their love as innocent however the society thinks otherwise.
This links to the theme of religion and how Giovanni tries to disregard religion, and by sinning this is as if it doing this.

'Once a youthful pair,
Filled with softest care'
Hast showed a Christian’s care, a brother’s love.” – page 106, scene 4 – They were youthful and innocent and cared for each other like siblings should and they took this to an extreme.
'Parents were afar'
“Her sickness is a fullness of her blood –” – page 105, scene 4 – How Annabella’s father is unaware of what she has been up to.

Waves o'er heaven's deep,
And the weary tired wanderers weep.
“These tears may do you good. Weep faster yet…” – page 111, scene 6 – Crying will relieve their sins.
Blake's attitude towards the Church
““Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion./ As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on
the fairest joys.”

“Better murder an infant in its cradle than nurse an unacted desire.”

" [Blake] neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for work'y-day men at all, rather for children and angels; himself 'a divine child,' whose playthings were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens and the earth."
Life of William Blake
(1863) Alexander Gilchrist
Context relating to the content of the poem:
"The Garden of Love" is written to express Blake's beliefs on the naturalness of sexuality and how organised religion, particularly the orthodox Christian church of Blake's time cause the repression of our natural desires.
Full transcript