Write an essay of in which you compare and contrast the following; Blake's 'The Schoolboy' from Songs of Innocence and Byron's 'Don Juan' Canto 1, stanzas 37 - 48.

Essay by DizzyButHappy June 2004

download word file, 6 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 96 times

Both Blake's poem The Schoolboy and Byron's extract from Don Juan explore the theme of education and the consequences of this type of infringement upon the child who is receiving the education. However, they way that both poets communicate their views is very distinct. In Blake's The Schoolboy we are encouraged to feel pity and sorrow for the child that cannot play, whereas in Byron'sDon Juan extract we see a satirical viewpoint from the narrator's perspective. Both poets appear to be disillusioned with the type of education that was offered at the time and felt that they were confined within the social structure. In Blake we see a general dislike of all education whereas Byron appears to reject only the highly moral type of education.

Blake's The Schoolboy is written in a ballad form, which compresses the lesson within the poem. The ballad form is similar to that of a hymn, which is appropriate to the lessons a child has to endure and emphasises the theme of innocence.

Blake writes the ballad in the first person narrative and assumes the persona of the child who, despite his objections, is forced to go to school when he would rather be enjoying the natural world.

'I love to rise in a summer morn, […]

But to go to school in a summer morn-

Oh, it drives all joy away!'

The poem constitutes six stanzas, each of five lines. He consistently follows a simple rhyme scheme of ABABB, which adds to the innocence he is trying to recreate. The lucidity of the scheme, and the rhyming pattern similar to that of a child's nursery rhyme, allows us to feel the child speaker is really communicating with us. This serves to validate his feelings as an individual with distinct thoughts and feelings that...