Essay by meatizmurderUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2005

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William Blake's poem "London" depicts a very depressing setting. The tone is quite clear however the who, what, where, when, and why are left out. It is up to the reader and the knowledge he/she posses to best interpret a text. It begins with a man walking down city streets observing all the poverty and sadness that has reaped his town. Other than the title the poem alone does not make sense. To fully understand the tone of the poem you must know both the historical basis, and the author's history.

It is important to understand the history of the author. William Blake's work is correlated to his own experiences. Britain Press states " William Blake was born on Nov 28, 1757 in London, the third of five children,"(1). This allows the reader to understand both the time frame and place the poem is set in. William Blake lived through the depression in London.

This depression was caused by an Industrial Revolution that began in 1794. Blake wrote a lot about poverty and the problems that London's citizen's had suffered. This is because Blake lived in poverty his whole life. His work wasn't even noticed until after he passed away. Britain Press writes " indeed Blake struggled close to poverty for much of his life,"(2). He wasn't driven by business and money making instead he was directed more by religion. However he disagreed with the church's approach to religion. Because he lived by these values he lived a very hard life. Britain Press explains "Blake poured his whole being into his work. The lack of public recognition sent him into a severe depression which lasted from 1810-1817, and even his close friends thought him insane."(2). After this depression he began chronically using opium. He also claimed to have been visited...