Telling a story - William Blake's "Songs of innocence and of experience"

Sarah Bauernfeind
2019 unpublished
In the study of literature, the telling of a story is not traditionally associated with the lyric genre. However, in William Blake's collection The Songs of Innocence and of Experience numerous poems are based on narratives. In this thesis, a cross-generic approach is applied to examine poetry using the tools of narrative analysis. The aim of this paper is to show that even in the lyric genre there are narratives and aspects of story-telling. The first chapter is dedicated to finding a
more » ... n of the lyric that includes elements of narrativity, thus highlighting the grey area between the two genres narrative fiction and poetry. In the next chapters, aspects of narrativity are studied and analysed in Blake's poems, such as the narrative framework, temporal structures between the discourse and story level, representation of speech, and the identification of characters. Here, a lyric analysis focusing on the formal aspects of the poems accompanies and underscores the narrative approach. The last chapter examines larger narrative units in the collection, that are made up of several poems and follow narrative conventions.
doi:10.25365/thesis.60399 fatcat:ohxi5bj3i5dtzgg2vea4ql4thi