Thursday, August 22, 2019
English Literature Commentary Essay Example for Free
English Literature Commentary Essay The Crystal Cabinet is an outstanding example of Blakes use of an alternative reality to evoke readers to contemplate the boundaries of their society in light of knowledge about another world where these boundaries do not exist. Through the poem which was written just after the French Revolution, Blake offers the extreme of human experiences; as the central metaphor of the poem symbolizes a deep human truth which can be adopted with his poem, London. The poems simple goal is to tell a story and share a wisdom. The poem contains seven stanzas, several stanzas containing a different world and a different boundary; within each stanza one is able to find a rhyme scheme which closely follows a broken dactylic tetrameter. The Crystal Cabinets seven stanzas forms a superstructure upon which the story elements can be intertwined, and imagination can be overlaid as deeper themes of Blakes philosophy can be also be embedded. The first stanza is the main and central metaphor which one should focus on as it unfolds line by line before connecting with the second stanza to further evoke readers on the different dimensions and boundaries. The first two lines in the first stanza seemingly represents a form of innocence, a new born into a new world that deserved a celebration which is where and why Blake uses the term merrily. However, one notices the semi-colon after the merrily as it drifts further away from the supposed celebration, as the narrators Maiden puts the persona into a cabinet and lockd me up with a golden key; the poems happiness and joy thus comes to a dramatic halt. The broken dactylic meter in the first stanza seems to be contradicting, as merrily representing a form of happiness and freedom, is partnered with key which in terms symbolizes a place where freedom is lacked and limited, where one is locked. The cabinet in which the narrator/Blake finds himself in is formd of gold, and pearl and crystal shining bright, a contrast to the large and dull world of nineteenth century London. The second stanza, from lines 5-9, Blake is using the cabinet for which the narrator is locked in to emphasize an escape to a different world as opposed to a world for which he lives in, a dull and fearful nineteenth century world, in London. The second stanza contains two broken rhymes/dactylic meters as Blake rhymes gold and world, and bright and night together. Inside the cabinet is where we find another London with its tower Blake uses to represent a temporarily forgotten evil of which the real city contained and the imaginary one within the cabinet was freed from. The cabinet that is described through the second stanza is a cabinet full of dreams and light, of beauty and no fright. A world that is surrounded by gold, a night that has a crystal shining bright light; this as opposed to a world where the narrator/persona is captured dancing merrily and locked up into a world of limits. The images inside this crystal cabinet translucent, lovely, shining clear; all of the people and places are presented in their perfect forms. Here, Blake comes to an agreement with Platos philosophy that a world of ideal forms only exists beyond our perception. His poem presents an encounter with the world, as the fourth stanza seems to be Blake pleading in hope that his readers will one day realize the possibility and potential which one can escape from their repressed society. O, what a pleasant trembling fear! is not necessarily speaking of fear itself, but the fear that this translucent, lovely and shining clear world of his will dissipate and once again, be ruined by repression in contrast to the French Revolution and its impact on England and the people of England. Here, Blake uses another broken dactylic meter of clear and fear; the clear representing/symbolizing a form of clarity, purity, innocence, and happiness and the fear that represents the loss of that clarity. Thus, allowing one to see the desperate desire that the narrator must have towards a peaceful world, a peaceful life that is not full of danger and fearfulness. Through this poem which catapults the reader into a realm of the personas imagination, Blake description and different realm throughout the fifth stanza is a world containing love, for which was given and returned. This particular stanza differs from the first four as it is filled with joy, happiness and love, without having a halt. O, the happiness and joy for which fulfilled my soul as though a flame being burnt, no composition, no question, I seek the love as I kiss the lovely Maid and found that the love I seek was returned. Notice the Maid in the third line of this stanza, is capitalized, which in terms represents something more than just a maid we understand in modern day, for this Maid is not one who cleans up after our mess, but a context used metaphorically to describe a woman in particular, a woman whom the persona is trapped with respects and cares about, perhaps a lover. Linking to Blake as the poet of this poem, must represent a time in his human experience of a lover which made him burn like a flame and smile threefold smiles. Another point for which one notices while reading this poem is the broken rhyme of burnd and returnd; the burnd here represents a fire (danger), a wrath, however symbolizing much more than just a fire object itself, as it symbolizes a warmth, the warmth of love, which in contrast was returnd. Here in this new world of The Crystal Cabinet, the persona trapped is happy and is in a world where his desires are fulfilled, as is the desire of his lover, his Maid. When the persona suddenly breaks the crystal cabinet in the fifth stanza, after having tried to seize the inmost form, the world was fierce and shattered; and the reader is convinced that both imagination and reason are incompatible to one another. Here, the poem suggests that our lives have been so dominated by the doctrines of society that if we do try to find any reason in anything beyond the confines of the familiar lives for which weve been put in, we will not succeed, but will fail. In terms of Blake during his time, this particular part of the poem suggests that people during this time, their lives, are so dominated by not only the doctrines of society, but the doctrines of the Church, that if they do find reasoning and truth beyond those lines that have been drawn for them, they will die, and that truth does not prevail because of the imposed laws and rules. Therefore, the realm of the imagination that is transcended can not be quantified by either science or mathematics, nor can it be philosophized according to the laws of the State or the Churchs teachings, limiting the human minds, locking each human up with a golden key, only allowing the locked up humans to use their alternative reality minds to go into other realms of the world. The last stanza, striking to the reader as to the narrator, basically states that although one has been locked up into a crystal cabinet with a golden key, having experienced different realms of the world and having loved and loved back, one opens their eyes (seize the inmost form but burst the Crystal Cabinet) they break through the cabinet and once again, is back into the reality of fear and danger, back to the fearful nineteenth century world of London. As babies crying because their births are of no happy events as it only represents a continuation of this woe (linking to London as well as last line of The Crystal Cabinet), and weeping Woman pale reclind, representing the plague from the Sexually Transmitted Diseases woman get from their husbands; there is no happiness, no other dimension that is capable of allowing one to escape reality forever, as the persona is born into a world filld with woes the passing wind. In conclusion, this crystal cabinet symbolizes a unique opportunity to unfold meaning and explore further into those minds of the nineteenth century. Using the metaphorical visionary/images to help set a stage for a greater understanding of the environment, situation and journey for which is also a realization of the philosophy of William Blake. This poem is independent, yet linked through the narrative, using color scheme and the re-use of objects and words from other narrative elements, these different realms of worlds and spaces produces a unique, harmonic, and fearful resonance to viewers. It is when the four-fold vision is sought as the Crystal Cabinet breaks, in the seventh and final stanza, summing up everything the poem means and has stood for, is returned back to the original place and location for which they had entered, in the town squares of London. Here, the readers experience has thus triggered a new perception of London, as this perception is the perception seen through the eyes of William Blake himself.