Essay Poem London William Blake

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An Analysis of William Blake's Poem "London" Essay

1852 Words8 Pages

In "London", William Blake brings to light a city overrun by poverty and hardship. Blake discards the common, glorifying view of London and replaces it with his idea of truth. London is nothing more but a city strapped by harsh economic times where Royalty and other venues of power have allowed morality and goodness to deteriorate so that suffering and poverty are all that exist. It is with the use of three distinct metaphors; "mind-forg'd manacles", "blackning Church", and "Marriage hearse", that Blake conveys the idea of a city that suffers from physical and psychological imprisonment, social oppression, and an unraveling moral society.

According to William Richey the phrase "mind-forg'd manacles" has two contributors, the…show more content…

The use of the word "blood" to describe the state of walls can convey that the city is also filthy with the greed of upper class citizens such as Royalty (Line 12). Also, that the city could be full of the remembrance of the deaths of soldiers who have died for the purposes of carrying out Royalty orders. Therefore, because the surroundings are so confined and unclean, it reflects and reinforces the distress of ordinary citizens (Richey 2)

Disease is another factor that contributes to the distress of citizens. "And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse" (Line 16). The presence of an oxymoronic phrase places an emphasis on the current state of London's marriage practices. Marriage no longer represents rebirth and purity but is looked upon as costly and unclean. Men and women become careless with their sexual activities and help spread sexually transmitted diseases affecting not only themselves but others and future generations (Richey 1). It is the presence of sexual promiscuity and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that lead to the death of marriage.

The Church creates woe for citizens by acknowledging and advertising that earthly suffering is permissible because heaven grants rewards to faithful followers who do not complain (2). Since the Church bears so much influence and power, citizens feel they have no other choice but to follow the advice given to them. Many are probably so miserable that their only hope of

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Analysis of London by William Blake Essay

991 Words4 Pages

Historic poetry is unique in the respect that it gives readers an insight into a certain historic time period that textbooks cannot provide. Historic poetry not only gives a description of the time period but it allows the readers to connect to the emotions of the poet and to a point experience what it would have felt to live in that era. This is the case with William Blake’s poem London. London not only describes the horrid condition of England’s lower class during the industrial revolution but it also connects this description with a strong emotion response from the speaker. Blake’s stylistic and structure choices through out the poem paint a dark and morbid view of London but the emotion of the poem remains divide. The words of the…show more content…

Historic poetry is unique in the respect that it gives readers an insight into a certain historic time period that textbooks cannot provide. Historic poetry not only gives a description of the time period but it allows the readers to connect to the emotions of the poet and to a point experience what it would have felt to live in that era. This is the case with William Blake’s poem London. London not only describes the horrid condition of England’s lower class during the industrial revolution but it also connects this description with a strong emotion response from the speaker. Blake’s stylistic and structure choices through out the poem paint a dark and morbid view of London but the emotion of the poem remains divide. The words of the poem’s speaker evokes both sympathy for the lower classes at the same time as he is chastising the people who have the power to change the situation. Upon first reading one of London’s most distinguishable feature is the rhythm that is evoked by the closed structure of the poem. London’s text is divided into four stanzas each containing four lines. The four lines in the each stanza follow a pattern of repeated syllable count which features the corresponding lines from each stanza having identical syllable counts. Another structural device that Blake employs is an ABAB rhyming scheme at the end of every line, which is what brings out the poem’s steady beat. Together these structural choices develop a chant-like rhythm that brings out emotion

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