- Created by: Liv39
- Created on: 03-04-18 14:51
London - William Blake
- Historical Context
- Blake's Context
- Extra Context
GREEN = MUST KNOW
ORANGE = SHOULD KNOW
RED = COULD KNOW
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London - Historical Context
- The poem is set during a time in England where there was a huge amount of poverty, child labour and a war with France.
- At this time, death rates from disease and malnutrition were high.
- The industrial revolution meant London became overcrowded and polluted by large, oppressive factories.
- Almost half of the children died before the age of two.
- In France, they had just thrown off and executed their king.
- The 'People's Revolution' was meant to show that all men had power and were equal. In Britain, a country with an old monarchy and aristocracy, this was scary.
- Blake is peraps supporting the revolution, asking people to thrown off the 'manacles' of their belief that they should be told what to do.
- Many of his poems railed against the establishment.
- This poem also laments how London, arguably the greatest city in the world at that time, was so dirty and corrupt.
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London - Blake's Context
- Blake rejected religion, particuarly because the church failed to help children in London who were forced to work.
- Blake lived in the capital, so he understood the hardships that they faced.
- Blake was a radical man, who was frustrated with the world around him.
- He was vocal and public about his political views. He was part of a mob that burned down Newgate Prison in the London riots of 1780.
- He wanted poeple to challenge the world around them, which was arguably his motive for writing 'London'.
- Throughout his life, he claims to have seen various visions. He reportedly saw a tree of angels in Peckham Rise.
- Therefore, lots of his poems have a spirtiual or supernatural element.
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London - Extra Context
- He was a poet and was specialised in illuminated texts, often of a religious nature.
- Blake lived and worked in the capital, well placed to writte about the conditions.
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