Always wanted to practice your understanding of context in 'London'?
Well, you've come to the right place!
This activity is quite simple. We're going to be looking at the background of the poem, the themes that Blake uses and how they link to the context of his life and background. Blake (1757-1827) was considered pretty crazy by his contemporaries for his revolutionary views. Not only was he hostile towards religion, despite being a Christian, he was quite hostile towards the government for the way it rejected the poor. London, in Blake's time, was undergoing quite a big industrial revolution; many people lost their jobs and fell to poverty. Blake was also a romantic poet; romanticism meant the rejection of organised society and a focus on nature, feelings and emotions instead.
As you do this activity, jot down some important facts that you notice along the way. It'll be really helpful for your exam, and your general knowledge.
Just a reminder: context is the background, environment and setting of a poem.
You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.