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A comparison between 'Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth and 'London' by William Blake.

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Introduction

A comparison between 'Westminster Bridge' and 'London' 'Westminster Bridge' by William Wordsworth and 'London' by William Blake were both written around the same time (1802 and end of the 18th Century respectively). Are both about the city of London but take completely different views. 'Westminster Bridge' glorifies London and points out all its splendour. It is written as Petrarchan Sonnet which means it's a fourteen lines poem which has a specific rhyming scheme, within the poem the only word which doesn't fit this pattern is 'majesty' this is meant to point out London's significance. This poem is set in the morning when 'all that mighty heart is lying still' this is when the city shows all its potential and is peaceful and quiet. William Wordsworth personifies the city saying it is wearing a garment which is grand clothing this makes the city seem more important as its not only wearing clothes but extravagant ones. "this city now doth, like a garment, wear The beauty of the morning; silent, bare" The poet describes London as if it is the most beautiful place in the world listing all all its wonders in the one line "ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie". ...read more.

Middle

The poem talks about the misery of people shown on everybody's face. This poem contains 4 stanzas with alternative rhyming lines. In the first stanza, the poet mentions the 'chartered street' and 'chartered Thames' meaning that each street is owned and even the river is owned meaning there is no freedom as they both have a corporate identity. While walking through these streets, every face he saw looked weak and sad. "And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe." Throughout the 2nd verse, the poet repeats the word 'every' many times to emphasise the fact that this pain is inflicted to everybody to lives in London. The 'infant's cry of fear' symbolises its lose of innocence and shows that its not safe. In the third verse Blake talks about "How the chimney-sweeper's cry Every blackening church appals;" A chimney sweeper has no childhood as they work from a really young age so they have to be small and fit into a chimney and their job is dangerous so they often have a short miserable life. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Westminster Bridge' and 'London' are also set in different times of the day 'Westminster Bridge' is set in the morning when the city has a lot of potential as most of the people are still asleep and the 4th stanza of 'London' is set at midnight when prostitutes are roam the streets looking for business and night life is in full flow. There are also differences in the some of the things both of the poems say for example in 'Westminster Bridge' "The river glideth at his own sweet will" while in 'London' "Near where the chartered Thames does flow" that line means that the river has been taken over so has a corporate identity. Another contrast in views is shown in the lines "All bright and glittering in the smokeless air"-'Westminster Bridge' and "Every blackening church appals;"- 'London' the blackening church refers to the pollution in the city while 'Westminster Bridge' states that there is no pollution none at all. The poems are also set at different times of the day to exaggerate their point the 4th Stanza of 'London' is set at midnight when the prostitutes are on the streets. In 'Westminster Bridge', it is set in the morning when the city can show all its potential. Aisha Trew 11R March 2003 ...read more.

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