• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison between Blake's 'London' and Wordsworth's'Westminster Bridge'

Extracts from this document...


A comparison between Blake's 'London' and Wordsworth's 'Westminster Bridge' William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was taught by his mother at home, and became an apprentice to an engraver at fourteen. In addition to poetry Blake spent much of his time painting. Blake lived on the edge of poverty and died in neglect. His poetry receiving little acclaim while he was alive. 'London' was written by Blake in 1789. Taken from Blake's 'Songs of Experience', the style is darker and in a sense depressing. It describes the city after the Industrial Revolution. Blake takes a very negative and hopeless view of the city and the lives of those living within it. He hated the way London was becoming, looking negatively on business and materialism. Blake felt himself as free, and the poem is a comment on others living in London. ...read more.


In the second stanza Blake describes the whole scale of humanity from infant to man to feel general disgruntlement with the life that London inflicts upon them. 'Ban' suggests restricted or prohibited. Blake however suggests that men have in a sense designed their own prison, implying this by use of 'mind-forg'd manacle'. He describes infants who cannot speak but are nonetheless born under the chains, which Blake suggests society has needlessly inflicted upon itself. Again he creates effect by the repetition of 'every'. Blake goes on in the third stanza to comment ok the use of child labour under appalling conditions, attacking the church as it ignores the cries of the chimney sweep. He is disgusted with this practice and appeals against it and effectively shows the church to be appalled by the cries of the complaining chimney sweeps. He describes the church as 'blackening', which illustrates the industrialisation of the church. ...read more.


It goes on to tell of a married couple looking down upon her for what she does in order to make a living. This is ironic because the business of prostitution is caused in part by the restrictions placed upon the married man. It is also ironic because the married man is what has created the need for, and use of prostitutes. The harlot curses the respectable and polite society because it is they who have created the demand for her, and then look down upon what she does. 'Blights with plagues' implies that perhaps she also infects them with some sort of sexually transmitted disease, conceivably as a type of vengeance upon those who shun her. The final words of the poem, "Marriage hearse" compares marriage to death. The narrator sees marriage as another type of restriction placed upon man by society, marriage is a sort of death in man's ability to be free to do as he wishes. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexander Phillips ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Blake section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Blake essays

  1. A comparison between Jean Rhys and Una Marson

    Jean Rhys was born Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams on 24th August 1890, in Roseau, Dominica to a Creole mother of Scottish descent and a Welsh father who was a doctor. Rhys left Dominica in 1907, aged sixteen and continued her education in a Cambridge girls' school and then at the Academy of Dramatic Art which she left after two terms.

  2. Essay of Comparison between

    Poems from the "Songs of Experience" are all about the type of God who brought all the evil and suffering into the world, the vengeful God who is portrayed in the Old Testament. The poems from the "Songs of Innocence" are about the benevolent God of the New Testament, who forgave sins and showed compassion for mankind.

  1. How, if at all, did the lives of Londoners in the seventeenth century differ ...

    In provincial centres, prostitution was common, inevitably so, but not on the scale of London, and did not cater to such a ravenous market. The everyday lives of Londoners in the suburbs would in part, therefore, have been characterized by open prostitution, drunkenness but also by concomitant reactions to vice, such as libelous messages on doorways, or campaigns of vilification5.

  2. Analyse the impact of the transport revolution on Victorian London

    By 1865 there were even more horse-drawn buses carrying commuters to and from the terminals making some 7 000 journeys across the city centre, as well as the numerous carts and carriages delivering goods travelling through the already cramped and narrow streets, obstructing the city's traffic flow.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work