A Paradox Of The Poem In William Shakespeare's London

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London is a dialectic, and as such, William’s Blake writing of the city is furious and furiously hopeful. London is a world built on an idea of itself, a paradox of formed creation and self-creation. There is the mythic home of the high and the holy; the idealized picture of a city created from the written word—the land where chivalry thrives and Arthur soars, where from the ashes a city can once again rise and Shakespeare can pen his words. There is also the gritty underbelly of a city that glitters with the gold of the rich and the sweat of the poor, where an engine of steam is built to sweep the privileged far and wide, and to fog the struggles of those who cut their hands building it. London is a paradox of the myth and the truth underneath…show more content…
He sees the city in shackles but longs to break it free. “In every voice, in every ban / The mind-forged manacles I hear”. London, being built on the minds (and the blood) of its people, is held back from being the holy land it yearns to be because its people’s minds are chained. “I will not cease from Mental Fight… / …Till we have built Jerusalem”. There is a persistence, a yearning in the poem that “London” lacks. “London” is Blake inside, amidst the “blackening” churches and bloodstained palace walls. It is sinking in sin and screaming to deaf, smoky skies. “Jerusalem” is the poet’s words forging fire to clear the smoke from above. It is not quiet hope; it is not the silent suffering heard in “London”s curses on street corners. “Jerusalem” is breaking the barriers of the mind not just to think, but to…show more content…
London is harrowing cries and piercing curses heard by all; witnessed by God, even. To Blake, London should not be witnessed by God, not like this. "And did the Countenance Divine, / Shine forth upon our clouded hills?" Londoners' faces marked with sin and palace walls run with blood, "satanic mills" and "every blackening church"; London is no place to be seen by God. It is hellish, "satanic", a place fit only to be burned. Nothing of the Jerusalem, of Earth's very own Eden, in it. There is a running idea of a fallen London, not in need of confession (the echoing cries and cutting curses are confessions enough), but desperate for salvation and

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