Comparison of London by William Blake and Westminster Bridge.

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Comparison of London by William Blake and Westminster Bridge. "I wander thro' each chartered street," this is William Blake, walking slowly, almost lost, taking notice of everything he sees around him. By 'chartered' William Blake can mean two different things, he can mean wealthy and prosperous or he can mean streets that are chartered / charted on a map, this is better explained in the next line where he speaks of the 'chartered' Thames, giving us the impression that he is in fact speaking of the chartered / charted meaning. "Near where the chartered Thames does flow," the second line of the first verse sheds some more light on where William Blake actually is, he is on the 'streets' by the Thames -London. As London was quite small he is probably talking about the whole of London, not just a certain part. "And mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe," By weakness William Blake again mean two things, he can mean physical weakness resulting from starvation or hunger and the work they have done, he can also mean mental weakness, lack of hope or happiness and maybe lack of intelligence, as many people in those times in the poor/working class areas may not have gone to school. By 'woe' Blake can mean anguish and despair. Altogether William Blake states that all the people he meets are glum and/or sad. "In every cry of every man, In every infants cry of fear In every voice, in every ban The mind-forged manacles I hear" This is the second of four verses, and it describes what William Blake 'hears' as he 'wanders thro' each chartered street.' He states that in every mans cry, in every infants cry, in every voice and every sign he can see the limits set to the people by themselves in the mind and the lack of hope. The limits and lack of hope, I think, stem from the mental 'weakness' described in the first verse. "How the chimney-sweepers cry Every blackening church appals." I think that these two opening lines of the third verse have a lot of meaning. Chimney-sweepers were often young children who were forced to climb up/down chimneys to clean them. They often worked long hours and received little pay. Then William Blake mentions the 'blackening church' - a church is almost like a sanctuary for most people, but for the chimney-sweepers, there is no rest or sanctuary, no place to forget about there troubles, even the church needs to be cleaned, a place of purity is tainted and blackened ant the work goes on for the chimney-sweepers. "And the hapless soldiers cry
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