Identify at least three elements in "The Garden of Love" that you found interesting or engaging.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This poem which is part of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience is a poem that is intriguing in a number of different ways. The first is through the title, which seems to summon up images that make us think of the Garden of Eden and how it was a place of peace and tranquility for Adam and Eve. However, whatever images are created by this title, there is a massive difference between the kind of description we are led to expect from the title and the reality of the garden as described in the poem.

The second aspect of the poem I would pick out is therefore the way in which the presence of the chapel in this garden has changed it to such a massive extent. What defines the chapel is the sign "Thou shalt not" that is written over the door, clearly focusing on the way in which religion is used as a force to prevent childlike innocence. Finally, I would also point out the way in which the priests in the final stanza are definitely linked with restricting and impeding the "joys and desires" of the speaker.


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