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William Blake Case

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The poem London, written William Blake was published in 1794 in a collection of his work entitled Songs of Experience. The poem gives an insight to the corruption of London during the French Revolution, and Blake destroys the glorifying image of London with his idea of the truth. The poem exposes London as little more but a city trapped by harsh economic times. Royalty and those in a position of power have allowed morality and goodness to deteriorate so that suffering and poverty are all that exist. The poem revolves around the feeling of despair, hopelessness and desolation, making the gloom of London overpowering. The poet conveys this by his use of different types of repetition, a range of figurative language, imagery, oxymoron and a constant rhyme teamed with an inconstant metre. This poem ultimately gives the raw and honest description of the life of London, with the intense imagery dictating the poet's perception of the time.

Repetition is the most striking formal feature of the poem, and it serves to emphasize the prevalence of the horrors the speaker describes. "In every cry of every man / In every Infant's cry of fear / In every voice: in every ban." The harsh repetition reinforces the mood of the poem, and the sense of being trapped in the repeat of gloomy and miserable days. In the first stanza, "charter'd" is repeated in the first two lines, and in the last two lines "mark" is repeated three times. By bringing repetition into the poem at such an early stage immediately suggests the possibility that the people are so limited that their free speech is restricted to a narrow vocabulary. This emphasises the concept of a life structured around a droning, monotonous pattern.

The poem follows a very strict interlocking rhyming scheme, in which each alternating lines rhyme. The stanzas are all 4 lines, and there are only 4 stanzas. The first stanza has 8 syllables per lines, with the final line of the first stanza with only 7. The second stanza continues with only 8 syllables per line. This puts emphasis on the line "Marks of weakness, marks of woe.' It creates one of the main themes as the people of London are trapped by their own mental barriers. The third stanza has 7 syllables per lines, and then the poem returns to the original pattern of 8 syllables per stanza. This creates an alternating tempo, in which the poem picks up pace in the third stanza in lead up to the climax. By creating one stanza that contains fewer syllables, it stresses the urgency of the speakers voice and helps in the build up to the last stanza. It also pays part in highlighting the fierce imagery of the third stanza, where the "Chimney-sweeper's cry" could serve as a representation of society attempting to clean itself of its ashes, which symbolises depression. The second two lines describing a "hapless Soldier's sigh / Runs in blood down Palace walls" creates an image of a hopeless



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