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Explore How Themes Develop in 'London'

In this worksheet, students will evaluate how key themes develop in 'London'. Students will be able to look at how consistent key themes are in the poem, how they change and why.

'Explore How Themes Develop in 'London'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel,

Curriculum topic:   Poetry, Poetry 1789 to the Present Day, Poetry Anthology Collections

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

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Want to revise how key themes develop in 'London?

 

Thought bubble

 

This activity will help you understand how Blake's language choice and tone develop these key themes in the poem. In other words, what is the effect of these key themes on the reader? What exactly is Blake trying to show about these key themes? First, let's identity the main themes in the poem.

Corruption

Confinement

Freedom

Innocence

Hopelessness

Death

Religion

Vulnerability

 

This activity is designed so that you not only identify these key themes and ideas in the poem according to the language Blake uses, but explore how these themes develop in the poem. So how does Blake develop one of these themes in his poem?

 

 

Here's an example of an evaluation on the theme of corruption:

Blake uses the theme of corruption in "every black'ning church" where the metaphorical imagery of "black'ning" portrays a vivid image of a church- usually considered pure and positive- becoming blacker and blacker. The adjective and verb "black'ning" really conveys the unfurling impurity, as if the church is so corrupt, it's blackness can be seen buy all, adding sensory depth to the metaphor. Blake is saying that institutions such as the church are corrupt because they do not take responsibility for vulnerable members of society. The impure and corrupt imagery adds depth to the overall meaning of the poem, producing a vivid image which connotes to bleakness, darkness and death.

 

If you want to make this activity more of a revision exercise, then jot these themes down. If you want to use this activity to test yourself, then go ahead and try to memorise these key themes/motifs. 

It's up to you how you want to use this activity!

Remember, it's not a race. So take your time with each step! You'll be fine.

 

You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.

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