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Research on William Blake's Poem London

This is an analysis of the William Blake poem London. It will be analyzed using one of the literary aspects of poetry in this literature research paper. Custom research papers that value literature are Paper Masters specialty.

For Blake, "London" was the only city he knew and the largest in the world, yet it represented a "social evil that some create and all permit". At the same time, the poem's repetition of the word "every" creates a romantic sense of solidarity with all humanity and hope that this solidarity may help to overcome the suffering. The poem's conclusion, however, paints the darkest picture of the city, where girls are forced into prostitution and the marriage carriage is transformed into a hearse. Like many romantic poets, this poem expresses Blake's feeling that cities and modernization alienated man from nature, which was an unnatural condition with negative consequences.

Paper Masters provides research papers on William Blake and his poem London (1794)

The poem "London" consists of four quatrains and describes the condition of men in the modern city. While some viewed modern cities as magnificent testaments to man's creativity, Blake's poem paints a dark picture of the city that is more like a prison than a community. Moreover, the city's darkness appears to affect everyone:

 

I wander through each chartered street,

Near where the chartered Thames does flow,

And mark in every face I meet,William Blake Poem

Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

 

In every cry of every man,

In every infant's cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forged manacles I hear:

How the chimney-sweeper's cry

Every blackening church appals,

And the hapless soldier's sigh

Runs in blood down palace-walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hear How the youthful harlot's curse Blasts the new-born infant's tear, And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.

Elements to Examine in Blake's Poem

In the essay, analyze this poem using one or more of these topics as the basis of your paper:

Artist and poet William Blake believed that the human spirit entered life on Earth full of happiness and vitality.  Over the course of time, however, certain experiences challenged the spirit.  Fulfillment in life therefore depended on how successfully one managed to hold onto his or her humanity amid inhumane social institutions and reckless authority.  In witnessing and chronicling the misery of the gangs of youthful scavengers popularly known as ‘mudlarks’, writer Henry Mayhew made a few observations that affirm Blake’s belief.  Although they differed in opinions and ideology, Blake and Mayhew agreed on one key issue: spiritual death sometimes occurred very early in life, robbing young children of their humanity, and reducing them to little more than animals.

Related Research Paper Topics

The Four Zoas - The Four Zoas research papers analyze one of William Blake's most difficult poems to explicate, due to the religious symbolism.

Personification in Poetry - Give examples of three different types of personification in any of the following poems: She Sweeps with Many-colored Brooms by Emily Dickinson; I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by William Wordsworth; Two Sunflowers Move in the Yellow Room by William Blake.