London: analisi in inglese della poesia di William Blake (3 pagine formato pdf)
LONDON WILLIAM BLAKE: POEM
LONDON WILLIAM BLAKE: ANALISI
It is used the 1st person pronoun: it is important because the poet uses his person as a speaking eye to denounce the bad moral values and ideals of his society.
We are in 1794. The poet wanted to unveil the condition of his contemporary men. We immediately understand the lack of hope: it is a pitiless and hopeless description of London. Blake proposes images of violence, of disease, particularly expressed by the last stanza where there is a “fall in tone” that shows the corruption of the society.
LONDON WILLIAM BLAKE: ANALISI PRIMA STANZA1st STANZA. Corruption using “chartered”
Strong violence repeating “marks”
I wandered through each chartered street
The poet tells us he was strolling through his chartered street. There is a strong image of corruption and violence given by the word “chartered”.
The “Charter” is a document issued by the king or the Parliament giving commercial privileges to private bodies. It is something that gives the possibility to have privileges in trade.
The “chartered street” has got the dimension of a commercial exploitation. The street has got a name but it is just a social necessity. (es. Romeo and Juliet: the identity is not confirmed by the name. In fact, a rose is always a rose even if we don’t call it by this name).
Giving names is just a social convention, a human necessity.
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
The poet was walking near the balk of the river Thames. The Thames is chartered, too, because its name derives from a human necessity.
This thing expresses how every social symbol is exploited.
And mark in every face I meet,
The verb and the subject are at the end of the line.
“Mark” stands for sign of violence and of disease. It is an harsh sound that mimics the violence, the exploitation.
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
There is an hammering repetition (ripetizione martellante), as in “The Lamb” and in “The Tyger”, and it is useful to reinforce.
There are marks of weakness (of the civilization) and marks of sorrow.
LONDON WILLIAM BLAKE: ANALISI SECONDA STANZA2nd STANZA. Idea reinforced by the manacles, lack of freedom, they are not real but symbolic. Men are not free to think.
Considers all the desperation of men, infant and voices
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:
The verb and the subject are again at the end of the stanza (I hear).
The poet hears the mind-forged manacles, a symbol of lack of freedom. The manacles are iron rings used for prisoners around hands or feet. There are 3 different interpretation for these “manacles”: they are created BY the mind, IN the mind and Of the mind. They are all possible, just to make us understand how men are not free. Symbolically these manacles are inside the mind.
The poet hears these manacles “in every cry of every man”. “Man” does not stand for the man in the society, but for the innocent man.
The poet hears these manacles “in every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice an every ban”. In every cry, when children cry because they are afraid. The poet takes in consideration all the human categories (man, infant, cry, voice, ban).
We are after the French Revolution (1794) and in this poem the poet expresses all the desperation for the restriction imposed by the government (combination act, habeas corpus, corn law…)
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