Analysis of Blake's London


Length: 415 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



Analysis of Blake's London  

 

In the formal approach method to critical analysis, it is essential to read William Blake's "London" mechanically. Blake uses his rhetorical skills of alliteration, imagery, and word choice to create his poem, but more importantly to express the emotional significance that is implied.

 

William Blake's poem, "London", is obviously a sorrowful poem. In the first two stanzas, Blake utilizes alliteration and word choice to set the mournful atmosphere. Blake introduces his reader to the narrator as he "wanders" through the "chartered" society. A society in which every person he sees has "marks of weakness, marks of woe." Blake repeatedly uses the word "every" and "cry" in the second stanza to symbolize the depression that hovers over the entire society. The "mind-forged manacles" the narrator hears suggests that he is not mentally stable.

 

In the third stanza, Blake utilizes imagery of destruction and religion. This imagery is a paradox, which implies some religious destruction like the apocalypse. The "chimney-sweeper's cry" symbolizes the society trying to clean the ashes that causes their state of depression. Blake uses the religious imagery of the "black'ning church" to represent the loss of innocence, and the society's abandonment of religion. The use of the soldiers creates an imagery of war. The "hapless soldier's sigh" symbolize how men are drafted into war and have no choice but to serve their country. As these soldiers unwilling march to the beat of the country's forceful drum, they know their lives will be taken, as their "sigh runs in blood down palace walls." Blake uses this sense of destruction to explain how people are forced to repair the "weakness" and "woe" of their society.

 

The fourth stanza of "London" unravels the complex meaning of the poem. The "youthful harlot's curse" symbolizes how the youth's sinful deeds will effect the next generation. Their "curse" causes the "newborn infant's tear" which exemplifies how the new generation will have to correct the mistakes of the previous generation.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Analysis of Blake's London." 123HelpMe.com. 28 Jun 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=8325>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Analysis of William Blake's Poem London Essay - Analysis of William Blake's Poem London London by William Blake is a poem characterised by its dark and overbearing tone. It is a glimpse at a period of England's history (particularly London) during war and poverty, experienced by the narrator as he walks through the streets. Using personification it draws a great human aspect to its representation of thoughts and beliefs of the narrator. The author uses a rhyme scheme that mirrors the pace of walking. The pace is moderate using an octameter meter, and each stressed syllable is like each footfall of the narrator....   [tags: William Blake London Poetry Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
533 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's London - A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's London .........In his reflection "London," William Blake laments the poverty faced by the lower class of modern, industrialized London, and he can find no note of consolation or hope for their future. The poet uses this theme to dramatically depict the conditions in which the oppressed lower class is forced to live; he develops the theme through the use of sounds, symbolism, and an ironic twist of words in the last line that expresses Blake's ultimate belief in the hopelessness of the situation....   [tags: Literature William Blake London Poem Essay] 935 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of London by William Blake Essay - ... Together these structural choices develop a chant-like rhythm that brings out emotion from both side of the poem’s message. On one hand this chant like rhythm creates a feeling of conformity and industry, which is a reflection of the industrial revolution and the power of the government. However, the chant also can be seen as a representation of a monotonous ticking of a clock; a symbol of the endless cycle of pain and despair felt by the lower classes of London. London’s closed structure symbolizes how the lower class is trapped in this cycle of hardships because of the unchanging conformity of the people in power....   [tags: historic, emotions, revolution, power] 982 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
An Analysis of William Blake's Poem "London" Essay - 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....   [tags: European Literature] 1862 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on London by William Blake - ... In the third line it means to observe and in the fourth line it represents the signs on the people’s faces, grief, weariness and pain. Repetition of the words “charter’d” and “mark” emphasise the words message which is that the city life has taken away the freedom and vitality of the people and has oppressed them. Alliteration is used with the words “mark” and “meet”, “weakness” and “woe”, to contribute to the sombre atmosphere with the effect of drawing the words out longer. As the poem enters its second stanza the sense of suffering and hopelessness is only emphasised further....   [tags: poem analysis] 833 words
(2.4 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay on William Blake: London From Within - 5. William Blake: London From Within If we want to discover the particularity of eighteenth century London’s appearance or the details of its growth, there are both scholarly and temporary guides to consult. Through the historical background exposed in the previous chapters, in fact, we came across only to the objective point of view of the city, but if we want to discover the feel of London life, its people, its sounds and smells there is a more direct source: literature. Through poems we can understand the way the authors, like many other people, lived this specific experience....   [tags: Poetry Analysis ]
:: 11 Works Cited
2581 words
(7.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay on Marxism as Found in London, by William Blake - In 1848, Karl Marx became renowned for his work, The Communist Manifesto, which was considered one “of the most eloquent and undoubtedly the most influential political pamphlet ever published…” (Waugh 140). Marxism, as it later became known as, explored “the intellectual rationale of the numerous Communist and Socialist parties” (Waugh 140). The foundation of Marxist views relied on that of class struggle: “Marxist criticism must always insist upon the issue of class relations, and class struggle, in unlikely contexts no less than likely ones” (Waugh 143)....   [tags: Thematic Analysis, Social Upheaval] 760 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Westminster Bridge and London - The poems ‘lines composed on Westminster Bridge’ and ‘London’ are created by William Wordsworth and William Blake respectively. Wordsworth’s work originated in the eighteenth century and he himself lived in the countryside, and rarely visited large cities such as London. This is reflected on his poem, making it personal to his experience in London, however William Blake on the other hand had a vast knowledge of London and was actually a London poet, which allowed him to express his views of London from a Londoner’s point of view....   [tags: Wordsworth, Blake, Poetic Analysis] 1471 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Everything is Not What it Seems: William Blake's London Essay - ... Both works also explore the idea that nature can be strikingly beautiful, while also being strikingly horrifying. William Blake’s “The Tyger” wanders past the darkness of human society and explores the beauty and fear associated with animals, specifically the tiger. Blake is questioning why anyone would create something as terrifying as a tiger. Blake is searching to understand what it means to live in a world where a being can contain beauty and horror. The tiger is symbolic for investigating the presence of evil in the world....   [tags: poetry, literary analysis]
:: 6 Works Cited
1224 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about London, An Analysis - William Blake makes a pointed critique of the society and institutions of the English Government in his poem, "London." Throughout the poem Blake presents an image of man against society. He directly accuses several institutions and society itself of creating the tyranny that is controlling the people of London. He alludes to the struggle of the classes, the upper-class controlling the lower, as being the reason for the problems in London. This conflict of classes is the reason for the oppression and tyranny that the people of London are forced to live under....   [tags: Poetry William Blake]
:: 1 Works Cited
863 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]

Related Searches




The "plagues" also symbolizes this curse, and the "marriage hearse" creates a paradox, which confuses eternity and death.

 

William Blake's "London" is a poem about a society that is troubled by the mistakes of the generation before. Blake uses the rhetorical components of imagery, alliteration, and word choice to illustrate the meaning of the poem. What exactly does this poem mean? Blake creates complexity by using his rhetorical skills, which in turn opens up the poem for personal interpretation.



Return to 123HelpMe.com