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Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "Compose upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "Compose upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth. Which of these poem do you find more satisfying and why? "London" by William Blake was first published in 1794. Blake expresses his reactions and feelings of his witness of underprivileged citizens in the working class as he walks through the streets of "London" in the late 18th century. "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" is a sonnet that was written in 1802 by William Wordsworth. He portrays the attractive scene of the Thames and the city of London as he sees from the Westminster Bridge in the early morning. Both Blake and Wordsworth are Romantics poets; their poems express their attitude and critics towards their lives and surroundings. The two poets have expressed two extremely different points of view towards London. Blake has a pessimistic view of London. Under his pen, poor people are restricted, helpless and are under the control of the authorities. He has successfully offers an impression of the hardship, sorrow and misery of the city. ...read more.

Middle

In 'London', it has a definite metre that is very predictable and it has successfully provides an impression of the monotonous way of life these underprivileged citizens are living. Wordsworth expresses his amazement about the scenery by exaggerating the fairness shown. Soul with appreciation and awareness of nature scenery has always been thought as more superior and people who did not aware of beauty of London has been described as 'dull' soul. As most people would not like to be thought as soulless and therefore would immediately agree with Wordsworth statement about the view. The River Thames in London has always been a landmark for the city and has symbolised the freedom of its people. However, in "London", the Thames is 'charter'd', which suggests the fact that the liberty of people has also been unreasonably restricted. The River Thames described in "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" is however, in a complete contrast. Wordsworth personifies the Thames as a living body which can freely flow according to its 'own sweet will'. By comparing two poems, it is ironic to realise the river Thames has more right then human being to control and choose their way to 'flow'. ...read more.

Conclusion

for building this splendid 'beauty' which seems to wear a 'garment', Wordsworth has used this personification to help the readers to image the scenery of the city. As wearing garment is a human thing to do, Wordsworth has at the same time suggests his appreciation of human accomplishment. I admire Blake's awareness of the reality of his surroundings and find "London", a more enjoyable poem and the second stanza is particularly inspiring for me. The repetition of 'every' in the second stanza has provided me with the vivid images of the miserable lives of people who were boxed in the 'charter'd street' and had suffered in the old London. Both of the poems were written in the similar period, which means that the situations should be the same but the two poems suggests two extremely different scenarios. Wordsworth's poem describes the beauty of London in the early morning and I find this poem is too subjective and non-realistic. The dreadful realistic living situation would not be able to be seen, as 'the very houses seem asleep'. The dominant use of hyperbolic language in the poem makes me find "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" a less realistic poem. Poetry Coursework Phiona Tam (Year 11, Set 4) ...read more.

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