A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's London Essay

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A Symbolic Analysis of William Blake's London

.........In his reflection "London," William Blake laments the poverty
faced by the lower class of modern, industrialized London, and he can
find no note of consolation or hope for their future. The poet uses
this theme to dramatically depict the conditions in which the
oppressed lower class is forced to live; he develops the theme through
the use of sounds, symbolism, and an ironic twist of words in the last
line that expresses Blake's ultimate belief in the hopelessness of the
situation. The poem is dominated by a rigid iambic meter that mirrors
the rigidity and immutability of the lives of the poor and the
oppressive class system.

.........The first stanza begins with the poet
…show more content…
The institution has become hypocritical because, while it
still preaches pity, it fails to offer any remedy to the oppression of
the poor. The soldier, who should be a symbol of the strength and
glory of England, is nothing more than another poverty-stricken human,
and so the depiction of his sigh running in blood down palace walls
symbolizes that the beauty and glory of England-the palace-is marred
and made grotesque by the oppression of the soldier class.

.........The fourth and final stanza returns to a slightly more
concrete depiction of what "most thro' midnight streets [he] hear[s]":
the "youthful Harlot's curse" not only "blasts the new born infant's
tear," but also "blights with plagues the Marriage hearse." The
unusual, poignant juxtaposition of "marriage" with "hearse" brings the
mood of hopelessness to a peak; as a result of sexually transmitted
diseases, marriage and sex are now connected with death, not life.

........."London" is written in…

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