William Blake's London and William Wordsworth's London, 1802

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William Blake's London and William Wordsworth's London, 1802

The figure of the poet as it pertains to William Blake and William Wordsworth is different according to the perception of most analysts. Blake addresses a universal audience in a prophetic voice, taking the role of the poet upon himself often using a mystical tone. In contrast Wordsworth uses language specific to all and directs his writing to ordinary people writing as an ordinary person reacting to his own personal experiences. It is notable that these two poets who write from such different perspectives both ably and similarly portray the dark side of human existence ensuing from the drastic changes attending the transformation of
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He establishes himself as an observer when he says, "I mark" "I see" "I meet" and "I hear" and addresses a universal audience. His observations call up a London suffering from the monstrous consequences of the Industrial Revolution and sympathize with her people who must bear the burden of the injustices resulting from commercial exploitation and a materialistic attitude.

Freedman claims "Blake's tightly structured quatrains as well as his self-consciously elaborate poetic figures are signs of just how much intense intellectual labour is required to comprehend the city" (3) and indeed the notion that the poet is struggling to come to terms with the wounds he perceives is very clear. He questions how conditions can possibly have reached the state they are in while castigating the institutions that have permitted things to degenerate to such a level. The first eight lines of the poem are the poet's cry of horror for the pall that hangs over London and her people and express sympathy for their inability to escape the "manacles" (8.35) that bind them to their fate. The tone changes in the final eight and expresses his anger and contempt for the oppressors who have created and imposed the "manacles" (8.35).

The term "chartered" used in
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