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A Reading of William Blake8217s 8220London8221

A Reading of William Blakes London William Blake channels his general dissatisfaction of the organization of society during the late eighteenth century in his lyrical poem entitled London (1794). Blake uses vividly expressive language through the spoken observations of a symbolic character he created to narrate and recite social and political problems afflicting this metropolis in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The poems rhythmically patterned linear style, which is very strictly structured, reinforces its central theme: that oppression will be revisited. Blakes use of such elements of poetry as setting and situation, diction and tone, structure and form, symbols and images, sound and rhyme, and rhythm and meter to convey this strong message of political and social importance. The title of the poem, coupled with the first stanza, establishes the setting in London (England) and describes the social environment that frames the characters (the citys residents) and their surroundings. The title designates the exact location of the setting and immediately informs the reader that it takes place in London. Although the lyric is written in first-person singular, the speaker is not the poet. Blake sensibly creates a persona that expresses subjective thoughts and expressions to refer to the speakers personal experiences in order to emphasize penetrating resonance of the poems diction. London reflects the period in which it was written by depicting the very image of most of urban life during the period of Romanticism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many of the libertarian movements during this period were induced by the romantic philosophy, or the desire to be free of convention and tyranny, and the new emphasis on individual rights. As illustrated in Alexander Popes From An Essay on Criticism, eighteenth century literature was marked by critical and intellectual writers. Just as the insistence on rational, for...

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