The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Analyse Language in 'London'

In this worksheet, students will exercise their analysis of language in 'London'.

'Analyse Language in 'London'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to practice your language analysis in 'London'?

 

Thought bubble

 

Good! You've come to the right place. All you need to do is refer to the poem 'London' in your anthology! 

 

To quickly recap: 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. Perhaps a criticism at the vast control the government has over the public, Blake challenges authority in this revolutionary poem.

 

 

 

Take notes as you do this activity. It'll definitely help you absorb more information if you're writing all the new things you learn alongside. Take your time and absorb the teacher's explanation - it's full of helpful gems!

 

Looking at the quote:

 

"The mind-forged manacles I hear"

 

 

Tick one box that you think best explains the language use in this quote. Refer to the words in bold.

The quote uses a metaphor to show how the lower-class are happy

The quote uses a metaphor to show that the lower-class are mentally trapped and brainwashed by the upper-class

The quote uses a simile to show how the lower-class are brainwashed by the upper-class

The quote uses a metaphor to show how the upper-class are brainwashed by the lower-class

Look at the very first line of the poem. What is the meaning behind it?

 

Pick one number out of the options below.

 

1. The quote uses contrasting ideas between freedom and control. The speaker is free to "wander", but the streets he walks on are "chartered", controlled and monitored by the government.

 

2. The quote uses contrasting ideas between happy and sad. The speaker is sad but everyone around him is happy, suggesting that he is the only one who sees suffering and putting himself above everyone around him.

 

3. The quote uses metaphor to suggest that the speaker is arrogant because he's free to "wander", but the lower-class people around him aren't.

Pick one quote from below which expresses the speaker's fear for future generations.

 

Pick one number out of the options below.

 

1. "Every black'ning church appalls"

2. "...youthful Harlots curse, blasts the new-born Infants tear"

3. "And mark in every face I meet"

4. "Runs in blood down palace walls"

 

"Runs in blood down palace walls"

 

 

What is the meaning of this quote? Write the one correct number.

 

1. The quote uses a metaphor which places blame on the aristocrats and upper-class members of society - who live in palaces - for the death of soldiers.

 

2. The quote shows that the government has executed soldiers.

 

3. The quote shows that aristocrats and upper class members of society are soldiers.

Pick out three quotes from below which showcase that the poem has a semantic field of innocence.

"In every infants cry of fear"

"How the chimney-sweepers cry''

"Every blackning church appalls"

"Blasts the new-born infants tear"

"And mark in every face I meet"

Fill out the table with the language devices that are present or not present in the poem

 

Look at the first line of the last stanza.

 

Fill in the blank with your choice of four words from the selection below:

 

darkness

sibilance

love

metaphor

adjective

but

and

calm

hates

"And blights with plagues the marriage hearse"

 

Definition:

"Hears" is a vehicle used to carry dead bodies in a funeral

"Blights" means to attack/infect

 

Fill in the blanks with three words out of the selection below. 

 

present

adverb

adjective

verb

unnatural

darkness

gloomy

metaphor

contrast

Link the correct language device to the quote.

 

Last question!

 

 

Fill in the table linking a language device to its effect.

  • Question 1

Looking at the quote:

 

"The mind-forged manacles I hear"

 

 

Tick one box that you think best explains the language use in this quote. Refer to the words in bold.

CORRECT ANSWER
The quote uses a metaphor to show that the lower-class are mentally trapped and brainwashed by the upper-class
EDDIE SAYS
A metaphor is used in this quote- suggesting that the poor people in society are chained/confined by the upper-class who are controlling them! Blake really plays around with the idea of physical suffering ("cry", "blood" "plague", "blast"') but, here, we have a reference to mental suffering/confinement. The point Blake is making is that suffering and entrapment can be mental, as well as physical. There's an idea that the lower-class are brainwashed in some way, unable to get out of their situations.
  • Question 2

Look at the very first line of the poem. What is the meaning behind it?

 

Pick one number out of the options below.

 

1. The quote uses contrasting ideas between freedom and control. The speaker is free to "wander", but the streets he walks on are "chartered", controlled and monitored by the government.

 

2. The quote uses contrasting ideas between happy and sad. The speaker is sad but everyone around him is happy, suggesting that he is the only one who sees suffering and putting himself above everyone around him.

 

3. The quote uses metaphor to suggest that the speaker is arrogant because he's free to "wander", but the lower-class people around him aren't.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
Good work if you chose option one! The quote uses contrasting ideas- look at the verb "wandered" - it suggests freedom, casualness. This idea of a poet or writer (usually a man), separated from society, but observing the goings on around him is often used in poems and stories: he's known as the flaneur. Blake's speaker is a flaneur, here, because he's able to wander without anyone noticing him, free to observe. Clearly, the speaker is in a more privileged position, as he has the privilege of wandering these streets. Now, thinking about the rest of the poem, there is very limited reference to the theme of freedom. What can you infer about this?
  • Question 3

Pick one quote from below which expresses the speaker's fear for future generations.

 

Pick one number out of the options below.

 

1. "Every black'ning church appalls"

2. "...youthful Harlots curse, blasts the new-born Infants tear"

3. "And mark in every face I meet"

4. "Runs in blood down palace walls"

 

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
The correct answer is number two. The youth of London were being badly affected by corruption and a lack of freedom. The poem may have be a warning to the reader- change needed to happen immediately!
  • Question 4

"Runs in blood down palace walls"

 

 

What is the meaning of this quote? Write the one correct number.

 

1. The quote uses a metaphor which places blame on the aristocrats and upper-class members of society - who live in palaces - for the death of soldiers.

 

2. The quote shows that the government has executed soldiers.

 

3. The quote shows that aristocrats and upper class members of society are soldiers.

CORRECT ANSWER
1
EDDIE SAYS
When we think about a palace, we think about rich aristocrats, don't we? Thinking contextually, the fact that the French Revolution had taken place at around the time this poem was written and was influencing the London society (creating a huge amount of tension due to the gap between the rich and poor), Blake might be referencing the Palace of Versailles, home to King Louis and Marie-Antoinette, who were killed during the revolution. The Houses of Parliament are also referred to as the Palace of Westminster - so Blake is definitely placing blame on the government, as well as the high end aristocrats (and back in Blake's time, many aristocrats had a seat in government - that's why they have a House of Lords). Now think about the metaphor itself - blood is running down the walls of the palace, however, nobody inside of the palace would be able to see.
  • Question 5

Pick out three quotes from below which showcase that the poem has a semantic field of innocence.

CORRECT ANSWER
"In every infants cry of fear"
"How the chimney-sweepers cry''
"Blasts the new-born infants tear"
EDDIE SAYS
Remember, a semantic field is a bunch of words/quotes which all display a theme/motif in the poem!
  • Question 6

Fill out the table with the language devices that are present or not present in the poem

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Hopefully, the table has got you thinking about the significance of certain language devices over others. Why do you think certain devices are used and how do they add to the overall attitudes/ideas in the poem? Specifically, think about how individual techniques may combine together to create an important point.
  • Question 7

Look at the first line of the last stanza.

 

Fill in the blank with your choice of four words from the selection below:

 

darkness

sibilance

love

metaphor

adjective

but

and

calm

hates

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This quote can be difficult to understand - it may actually be midnight. However, Blake often uses metaphors in his poetry; in this case the bleak darkness is emphasised. The conjunction 'but' is also quite interesting. It creates a sense of dread.
  • Question 8

"And blights with plagues the marriage hearse"

 

Definition:

"Hears" is a vehicle used to carry dead bodies in a funeral

"Blights" means to attack/infect

 

Fill in the blanks with three words out of the selection below. 

 

present

adverb

adjective

verb

unnatural

darkness

gloomy

metaphor

contrast

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The end of the poem leaves the reader with a sense of doom. The contrasting ideas between marriage - a milestone to a new start in life - and hearse - a car carrying a coffin - is very significant in how it cuts any hope or potential for the lower-class.
  • Question 9

Link the correct language device to the quote.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? There's a lot to unpack in the poem, but it's not as hard as it seems when we pinpoint the key themes of the poem and how they are reflected through language.
  • Question 10

Last question!

 

 

Fill in the table linking a language device to its effect.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that every device used needs to be evaluated- what is the effect on the reader and what are the attitudes presented by the poet? Keep this in the back of your mind and be creative when you think about the different possibilities. Just as a quick example, think about how Blake's use of present-tense verbs ("wander", "curse") gives the impression of a lack of change. Could this be his criticism of things never getting better? Think about the situation in London now - is everything as equal and perfect as it should/could be? A lot of questions for you to consider!
---- 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.