The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Identify and Explain Key Quotes in 'London'

In this worksheet, students will be able to revise key quotes in 'London' (William Blake), as part of the 'Power and Conflict' cluster.

'Identify and Explain Key Quotes in 'London'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Pearson Edexcel

Curriculum topic:   Poetry, Poetry Anthology Collections

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'London', Time and Place: 'London'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Refer to the poem 'London' in your anthology.

 

Here's a quick recap of the poem: Written by William Blake, the poem uses imagery as its main device. The speaker (Blake himself), describes the city of London as he walks through it. The poet's opinions of the society he lives in are portrayed through the emotive language and metaphors used. A criticism at the vast control and lack of responsibility that the government has over the public, Blake challenges authority and addresses poverty in this poem.

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

This activity should help you revise some key quotes and help deepen your understanding of the poem. In the following questions, you'll be given a quote from the poem, and you'll need to identify the poet's meaning/s behind the quote.

 

Old Fashioned Camera

 

It may be helpful to write the quotes down as you do this exercise, so you can try and remember them for the future!

What does the very first line of the poem imply about the speaker's thoughts on society.

 

 

Hint: the word chartered means controlled and logged by the government.

 

That the government is good

That the government is bad

That the government is controlling

"The mind-forged  manacles I hear"

 

What can you infer about Blake's depiction of the people of London?

 

Fill in the blanks. Choose two correct answers out of the options below.

 

Confined

Tortured

Escape

Free

Relaxed

That the government is good

That the government is bad

That the government is controlling

"Every black'ning church appalls"

 

 

Tick one box which correctly analyses this quote.

 

The quote suggests that the church walls are very dirty and black

The quote uses metaphorical language of impurity to suggest that the church, a respected place of worship, is to be blamed for the poor treatment of the lower-class

The quote suggests that the church helps and improves society

Tick the two boxes which correctly identify the two devices used in the last line of the third stanza.

 

The quote suggests that the church walls are very dirty and black

The quote uses metaphorical language of impurity to suggest that the church, a respected place of worship, is to be blamed for the poor treatment of the lower-class

The quote suggests that the church helps and improves society

"Marks of weakness, marks of woe"

 

Write the one correct number from the options below, which correctly explains the quote:

 

1. The imagery in the quote blames the poor people.

2. The alliteration of the letter 'w', sets up a melancholy feel to the poem, due to the soft yet sad sound created.

3. The use of the alliteration suggests happiness and gives a pleasant image.

Look at the first line if the second stanza.

 

Pick three out of the options below to fill the blanks:

 

Emotive-language

Old

Relationship

Distance

Repetition

Understand

Pick one number from the options below which show that Blake is emphasising the negative effects of poverty on the younger generation.

 

1. "How the Chimney-sweeper's cry"

2. "Runs in blood down Palace walls"

3. "Blasts the new-born infants tear"

 

"In every voice: in every ban"

 

Definition: 'ban' (in this context) means to curse/swear at.

 

What is one thing you notice about this quote? Pick from the options below. 

 

The quote uses repetition of "every" to emphasise how many people are suffering

The quote uses metaphor to showcase religious imagery

The quote uses repetition of "every" to showcase that not many people are suffering

Tick two correct interpretations of language in the third line of the third stanza.

 

Definition: "hapless" means unfortunate/helpless

"Soldiers" and "sigh" uses the technique of sibilance

"Soldiers" and "sigh" are continuous verbs

The noun "hapless" portrays the soldiers as being corrupt

The adjective "hapless" portray the soldiers as being innocent victims

Last one!

 

Pick two words from the very last line of the poem which links to an overall motif of death:

 

Hearse

Blights

Plague

Marriage

 

 

Definitions:

"Blights" means to damage/spoil/infect.

"Hearse" is a vehicle used to carry a coffin at a funeral.

Motif is a recurring theme throughout a text.

  • Question 1

What does the very first line of the poem imply about the speaker's thoughts on society.

 

 

Hint: the word chartered means controlled and logged by the government.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
That the government is controlling
EDDIE SAYS
Think about the adjective "chartered". It refers to the idea of being controlled and owned by the government. Think about the fact that the idea of control is being explored in the first line. What do you think this implies about Blake's opinions about the government, especially when we link it to the whole poem?
  • Question 2

"The mind-forged  manacles I hear"

 

What can you infer about Blake's depiction of the people of London?

 

Fill in the blanks. Choose two correct answers out of the options below.

 

Confined

Tortured

Escape

Free

Relaxed

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Looking at the quote, it is clear that Blake thinks the people of London are being controlled, due to the noun "manacles" - these refer to handcuffs. It's a metaphor to suggest that the government are chaining the minds of the poor and keeping them confined and controlled. Link this to the quote about the "chartered streets" - we're really getting an idea about Blake's opinions on government, aren't we? However, it is interesting that Blake uses the metaphor "mind-forg'd manacles". The control is not physical, but mental. It's as if Blake is saying that concentrated power in society causes mental imprisonment of innocent people. Power and control is a motif throughout the poem, so try think how a quote may link to this motif.
  • Question 3

"Every black'ning church appalls"

 

 

Tick one box which correctly analyses this quote.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The quote uses metaphorical language of impurity to suggest that the church, a respected place of worship, is to be blamed for the poor treatment of the lower-class
EDDIE SAYS
If we look at the previous quote- "How the chimney-sweepers cry", it becomes clear that Blake is criticising the church. He uses the adjective "blackening" as a way of showing that the chimney sweepers (who were often children at the time) are made to clean the church's chimneys. Instead of protecting the chimney-sweepers, the church is exploiting them. Isn't it ironic that a place of worship is partaking in the act of child labour?
  • Question 4

Tick the two boxes which correctly identify the two devices used in the last line of the third stanza.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Good work if you chose metaphor and onomatopoeia! The quote is a metaphor (the soldiers' blood wouldn't actually run down palace walls), used to create a chilling effect. Because of this, a visual image is created in your mind - one that's quite unpleasant and gory.
  • Question 5

"Marks of weakness, marks of woe"

 

Write the one correct number from the options below, which correctly explains the quote:

 

1. The imagery in the quote blames the poor people.

2. The alliteration of the letter 'w', sets up a melancholy feel to the poem, due to the soft yet sad sound created.

3. The use of the alliteration suggests happiness and gives a pleasant image.

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Answer number two is correct. If you say the quote to yourself, you should find that it creates a very passive, soft sound. This links to the idea of sadness and maybe even an overall attitude of giving up. Alliteration is a really useful technique to portray the overall feeling of a poem. Remember, tone is an important factor in understanding what a poem may be trying to tell you.
  • Question 6

Look at the first line if the second stanza.

 

Pick three out of the options below to fill the blanks:

 

Emotive-language

Old

Relationship

Distance

Repetition

Understand

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The quotes from stanza two are very good to pick when you are trying to show how Blake attempts to make his reader empathise with the innocent people of society. The technique of repetition ("every"), really helps to make us understand the extent of people affected. It's not just one person, it's everyone. Emotive language is also a great technique to pick up on, when you think a poet is trying to make you feel a certain way (in this case- sad and empathetic of the people's suffering).
  • Question 7

Pick one number from the options below which show that Blake is emphasising the negative effects of poverty on the younger generation.

 

1. "How the Chimney-sweeper's cry"

2. "Runs in blood down Palace walls"

3. "Blasts the new-born infants tear"

 

CORRECT ANSWER
3
EDDIE SAYS
This quote is one of the most powerful lines in the poem - it refers to the future generations being affected by the corruption and poverty in society. If you look at the verb "blasts", it is clear that the impact is huge on the most innocent members of society.
  • Question 8

"In every voice: in every ban"

 

Definition: 'ban' (in this context) means to curse/swear at.

 

What is one thing you notice about this quote? Pick from the options below. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The quote uses repetition of "every" to emphasise how many people are suffering
EDDIE SAYS
How are you getting on? The quote really emphasises, through repetition, how universal and vast the suffering of the people is. Look at the word "ban" as well - it means to curse or swear at, yes, but we can also think of 'ban' in the context of banning/preventing something. Again, we have this idea that the government/aristocracy/upper-class are banning the lower-class from climbing up in society or banning them from being able to end their cycle of suffering!
  • Question 9

Tick two correct interpretations of language in the third line of the third stanza.

 

Definition: "hapless" means unfortunate/helpless

CORRECT ANSWER
"Soldiers" and "sigh" uses the technique of sibilance
The adjective "hapless" portray the soldiers as being innocent victims
EDDIE SAYS
The two language devices used in the quote are sibilance and adjectives. Both of these work together to create a very soft and woeful feeling, as if nothing more can be done to fix the problem. Think about the type of sound created when the letter 's' is repeated. There are two ways to think about it - a soft and smooth effect may be created, or a hissing sound may be created. Looking at the poem as a whole, which effect do you think Blake has tried to create? Could it be both? If so, why?
  • Question 10

Last one!

 

Pick two words from the very last line of the poem which links to an overall motif of death:

 

Hearse

Blights

Plague

Marriage

 

 

Definitions:

"Blights" means to damage/spoil/infect.

"Hearse" is a vehicle used to carry a coffin at a funeral.

Motif is a recurring theme throughout a text.

CORRECT ANSWER
Hearse
Plague
EDDIE SAYS
The last line of the poem is quite a chilling one! The quote involves a lexical/semantic field (words associated with one theme) of death. The nouns "plague" and "hearse" (which is the vehicle carrying a coffin) make us think about how these innocent people will ultimately end up due to a lack of freedom. Look at the contrast between"'marriage", suggesting happiness and new beginnings, and "hearse", which carries connotations of death and sorrow. Throughout the poem, the motif of death is quite apparent - perhaps Blake's way of showing us the terrifying consequences of power? The trickle down of corruption onto the most vulnerable members of society? To further your understanding, try and identify words and phrases that have connotations with the theme of death. This will really help you to grasp the overall meaning of the poem.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.