The first line of this poem reveals the setting of the character in the city of London. "I wander through each chartered street." The speaker then goes on to describe the city in a despairing and sad tone. "...mark in every face I meet marks of weakness, marks of woe." This first stanza sets the overall somber tone for the poem. The simple observations during a walk through London show the spealers emotional connection and experience in the city.
In the second stanza, the speaker further expresses what he sees and feels while walking through London. "In every cry of every man, in every Infant's cry of fear," these examples of innocent children's and strong men's cries, show the despair and sadness that the speaker feels in London. The crying symbolizes a cry for help from the people of London to a higher power (ex:government) but, they get no response or help. The next stanza has an even more explicit example of the people of London feeling beat down by their government, "the hapless Soldier's sigh runs in blood down Palace walls." The exaggerated image of a fallen soldier lying near the Palace walls, furthers the message of the people versus power, that the speaker feels while walking. This image also shifts the tone from a somber, almost accepting of despairity, to anger for being underminded as people by a higher power.
By the last stanza, the speaker summarizes his overall view and experiences of London. "But most through midnight streets I hear, How the youthful Harlot's curse...and blights with plagues the Marriage hearse." The specific example of the "young harlot's" and the "marriage hearse", could be a metaphor for the life of London. Youthful people full of life, end up miserable and cursing themselves for getting trapped. Either in marriage or by London itself, the more powerful governement that regulates its peoples happiness. This ending tone is the speakers thoughts and experiences of London. He can't escape the sadness and anger that fill London, he feels the paine even when he walks down the street.
sestina: six words
8 years ago