Chapter 1 could very easily be arranged into verse. It begins with several oxymoron, personifies Light and Darkness and has a steady poetic rhythm. Quoting the Shakespearean iambic pentameter on the cover emphasises this.
Aside from the one name of Mrs Southcott and the identification of England and France everything else is very anonymous. “A King”, “the musketeers”, “miscellaneous criminals”, keeps the tone of the novel very general and allows Dickens to maintain the mystery achieved with the title of A Tale of Two Cities.
Chapter 2 maintains this anonymity revealing characters slowly. The passengers from the coach are even wrapped up to such an extent that their faces are indiscernible. Coupled with the mist there is a sense of mystery and no clue as to where the action is going. This is emphasised further by the obscurity of the message Mr Lorry gives to Jerry which serves to intrigue both the reader and the guard, Joe.
Chapter 3 is poetic again making great use of imagery and repetition. The images of shadows and live burial are haunting and, as Gail already said, when the end of the chapter is followed by “the happiest man alive” the irony serves to make readers go cold.