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Oppression and Spiritual Deterioration at William Blake's Poem London London I wander thro' each charter would street, 1 Near where the charter would Thames does flow, two And mark in every face I meet, 3 Marks of weakness, marks of woe. 4 In every cry of every Man, 5 In every Infant's cry of fear, 6 In every voice, in every ban, 7 The mind-forg'd manacles I hear: 8 The way the Chimney-sweeper's cry 9 Every blackning Church appalls, 10 And the hapless Soldier's sigh, 11 Runs the blood down Palace walls. 12 But most thro' midnight streets I hear 13 How the youthful Harlot's curse 14 Blasts the new-born Infant's tear, 15 And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse. 16 "London" by William Blake is a short poem packed with significance. The poem contains two related themes. The first explores the spiritual decay and slavery of the people of London. The second examines the oppression of certain disadvantaged groups and the suggested apathy of their oppressors. Blake crafts a skillful poem with masterful use of layered word significance, irony, repeat, and visual and audible images. Layered meanings become apparent in the first two lines in which Blake writes of the "charter had street" along with the "charter'd Thames." Based on the numerous definitions of traveling and also chartered, Blake might be talking ironically of the "privileged" roads where the harlots and chimney sweepers live. Blake are also using chartered to encircle all of men. Chartered can describe a branch based on a sovereign, and, in such a sense, London on the "charter would Thames" may be a single branch of guy, representing most men beneath a tradition that is spiritual. Ultimately, charter denotes contracts between guys for company pu...