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Blake and Wordsworth

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Compare the ways in which Wordsworth and Blake present their ideas about the city of London in 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' and 'London'. "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and "London" are two very different poems themed around the growing important and powerful city of London. William Wordsworth, who wrote "Composed upon Westminster Bridge", writes about the spectacular view and landscape he can see from Westminster Bridge, on an early crisp morning, with the flowering and dazzling sun shining down upon it. He wrote this poem in 1802, when he was in his horse and carriage on his way to France. Whilst passing on Westminster Bridge he couldn't help but notice this marvellous view in front of him, inspiring him to write "Composed upon Westminster Bridge", then and there. However William Blake, author of "London", portrays London as being politically incorrect, full of woe and corruption, as well as suffering and depression. He writes this controversial poem in a way that makes the reader feel as if he is walking the streets of London and that you are there with him, watching all this corruption and suffering first-hand. He wrote this poem in 1792, around the time of the French revolution. In "Composed upon Westminster Bridge", Wordsworth describes the magnificent view of London he can see from Westminster Bridge. ...read more.


Another example of this is when Wordsworth says "The river glideth at his own sweet will", showing that the is free to flow where ever it pleases and nothing is controlling it . However, Blake on the other hand uses dark and depressing images to help describe his view of London. One example is in the line " How the chimney sweepers cry, every blackening church appals", this picture is creating the image of suffering and abuse, stating that the church is to blame for the lack of care over the orphan children and lack of responsibility they showed for the care of these innocent children. It also gives the feeling of corruption and betrayal from the hierarchies in the city. Another image Blake uses is "And the hapless soldiers sigh, runs like blood down palace walls". This particular image makes the reader picture the Monarchy and government as being selfish and insensitive. It also shows that the monarchy is to blame for the deaths of the soldiers abroad and that they are just being using and deposing the soldiers like toy figures, giving them no freedom of speech. Blake also use the image "The mind-forged manacles I hear", this image is referring to the lack of freedom the people have and that they are not physically chained down, but mentally restrained by the lack of freedom and voice the had through these desperate times. ...read more.


In "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" Wordsworth creates a peaceful and exciting mood London. He also uses a subtle tone when describing the view of London he can see and creates a natural and majestic atmosphere making the reader feel as if they are alongside Wordsworth on that early crisp morning, experiencing the presence of the blossoming sun for themselves. However, Blake's poem "London" sets a tense and gloomy mood about the city, leaving the reader feeling depressed and angry. Blake also uses a very dark and depressing tone, which forces the reader to act out the poem in a very negative way, reflecting the way Blake is speaking out the poem himself. He also creates a very dull and depressing atmosphere, which represents the atmosphere on the streets and in the homes of the suffering people. Wordsworth and Blake both have very different opinions on London. Wordsworth, a visitor to the city, sees London as a place of beauty and magnificence, whereas Blake, a citizen of London, sees it as a place of depression and suffering in which the government and monarchy are to blame. Another difference in the two poems is the techniques used to present their views on London. For example Wordsworth uses sibilance to convey across his excitement and admiration for the city of London, whereas Blake uses repetition and alliteration to show his profound anger and frustration over the widespread suffering. ...read more.

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