During the late 18thcentury and early 19thcentury when William Blake was living in London, he showed that London was indeed a terrible place to live and the living standard was devastating and he expressed his personal passionate anger towards the underlying problems in the society despite the fact that London was a cosmopolitan city at the time and certainly the one of the busiest commercial centres in the world. His poem had great meaning and targeted those who were in the higher class who knew how to read. He showed how different people in London were linked together within one depressing society. Nevertheless in, “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth, he presented the other side of the arguments. First it was a sonnet and the poem was certainly positive and showed the adoration of London from the use of language. Secondly he was the future King’s laureate, so he was likely to be biased and try the hide any negatives facts about London at that time and to make the King’s caputal sound absolutely wonderful.
Blake was an idealist who strongly upheld his political and religious views in criticizing the conditions of London at that time. His poem reflected his perspective of London from his firsthand experience of the horrific conditions in which people live and worked.
“I WANDER THROUGH EACH CHARTERED STREET,
NEAR WHERE THE CHARTERED THAMES DOES FLOW” LINE 1-2
Blake was walking through the streets of London witnessing people rushing in and out of this commercial place. Merchants came along with ships of goods from every part of the globe, eager to trade along the busy River Thames. However they seemed to be living without a soul as they were mentally chained, as there weren’t any better jobs and they would be starving and forever in poverty.
Moreover Blake also outlined one of the features of Capitalism in London – the clear division between the upper class and the ruling class (i.e. Landlords, priest, member of the royal family) and the working class of Londoners. If there were to be trading activities along River Thames, its citizen should be fairly rich as they benefited from it. The Ruling class often became wealthier via heavy taxation thus draining the working class, this transfer all the wealth from majority to minority. Hence the living standard would never be improved.
“MARKS OF WEAKNESS, MARKS OF WOE” LINE 4 “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.” LINE 5-8
Blake further emphasized the hardship of the Londoners at that time, the word “mark” were used repeatedly to show how they were stressed by the visible things around them and they all had an awful working experience in London. Secondly Blake stressed the rhythm of the poem and it sounded like the noise made by heavy machineries and metaphorically it pictured a society of people mentally chained to the work place. Furthermore a sense of...