Essay on Analysis of William Blake's Poem London

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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. As he walks through the streets near the River Thames, he notices the common distress in the faces of the people he passes along the way. The author uses alliteration in
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The narrator speaks of what could symbolise the lower or working class "the Chimney-sweeper", crying out against the system, and the upper class "Church" subduing them. Both the chimney and church are personified to symbolise the people they represent. This dominance is also related in the personification of "Soldier" and "Palace". The soldiers fight the wars that the monarchy decides, their blood on the King and Queen's hands. They sigh as to their shared plight, but their sighs only end in their deaths. This stanza's rhythm is different in that it follows a heptameter meter. Its pace is faster, which might reflect an increase in excitement by the narrator in what might be anger.

In the last stanza, the narrator witnesses the young "Harlot" (prostitute) cursing and reprimanding "Blasts" the infant's cries and "tears" at what could be the result of being fatherless. The soldiers' deaths leaving mothers widowed, turning the joyful occasion of marriage (also personified) into a depressing event “the Marriage hearse”. This stanza has a very different rhyme structure to the previous ones. It is half octameter and heptameter, making it slightly off beat. Lines thirteen and sixteen are slower (octameter), while lines thirteen and sixteen (heptameter) have a rapid, excited tone.
Although written long ago, before the twentieth century, London echoes a theme recurrent in present history. Poverty is still shared
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