Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Robert Knighton

First Committee Member

Louis H. Leiter

Second Committee Member

John D. Smith


While eschewing a strict definition on the didacticism of Blake's imaginative vision, the following four analyses could be said to revolve around three general themes. These are: (1) that Songs of Innocence engage in a dialectic, much of their appeal deriving from the tension created between the co-existence of so-called qualities of "innocence" and "experience"; (2) that each one is an individual attempt to reconcile these, as well as other, oppositions; and (3) that such a reconciliation is hierarchical, usually concluding on a transcendent or visionary plane. The first three center on the text and metrical phenomena. In "The Ecchoing Green" they are explicated synonymously, whereas in "The Shepherd," "The Little Black Boy," and "Laughing Song," the textual approach precedes an appropriate metrical amplification. The final discussion of "The Blossom" marks a technical shift into sound color, though the structure of the approach continues the same alternating pattern demonstrated on the three analyses before it.