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

Compare and contrast London by William Blake and Composed upon Westminster Bridge bt William Wordsworth discussing both the content and language of the two poems.

Extracts from this document...


COMPARE AND CONTRAST "LONDON" BY WILLIAM BLAKE AND "COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, DISCUSSING BOTH THE CONTENT AND THE LANGUAGE OF THE TWO POEMS. The Revolution in France coincided with the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution of England. During this period the rich became richer, the poor became even poorer, and major towns or cities became over crowded. The thoughts and feelings of the people living throughout the country at this time, often were expressed in poetic form. Two such poems set around the same time and both set in London are "London", by William Blake and William Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge." "London" is written nine years before "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge", and tells of the suffering of the people of London. A uniform and exact feeling is sensed in the opening two lines of the poem, as both streets and the Thames are described as being "chartered" and something which is chartered is very exact and has a definite and set outline. The next two lines ending the first stanza tell of weakness and woe in every face Blake meets, meaning there is sadness and regret along with vulnerability sensed by him as he passes people along his journey. ...read more.


Overall Blake takes a negative and strict viewing point of London which echoes the great suffering of the day. Another poem, set in London and written just nine years after "London" offers a contrasting tone to Blake's. It is William Wordsworth's "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge". "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" is a similar poem to "London" as the poet is the one travelling through the London it describes, yet the poems contrast greatly. Wordsworth opens with an emphatic statement, praising London as he says it surpasses anything on the earth. In the second and third line Wordsworth makes the statement: "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by/A sight so touching in its majesty:" which means one would have to be 'dead inside' if he/she couldn't appreciate such beauty. The fact that Wordsworth uses the word "majesty" offers a regal sense, a regal beauty - giving us the idea of just how grand and magnificent this city actually is. This contrasts well with the disease ridden city described by Blake, using such words as plague and blight, giving the city an altogether unsettling atmosphere. In the fourth line Wordsworth starts out by giving the word "City" a capital letter, which stresses just how important the city actually is. ...read more.


Suggesting to us the restraints put upon Nature, immobilising it from flourishing due to man's greed for industry and money. Wordsworth ends his poem exclaiming that it is so quiet and tranquil that even the houses "seem asleep". The last line of the poem sets up London as being the 'heart' of Great Britain, London is the thing which enables Great Britain to work correctly: "And all that mighty heart is lying still." We really sense Wordsworth's surprise at finding this essential life force so still and at rest. This is the complete opposite to Blake's bustling, overcrowded and disease ridden city. The nights are filled with young "harlot's" swearing at screaming babies, while they're out trying to earn a bit of money from sell in themselves for sex while. And all the time aiding to the destruction of society due to the spreading of disease. On the whole, undoubtedly my favourite poem is William Blake's "London". I feel Blake's poem far surpasses Wordsworth's as Blake offers to us a more realistic and altogether poignant atmosphere to Wordsworth's happy and "perfect" city. I feel that his use of language and style of writing expresses well the perception of London during the course of industrialisation as being an overpopulated and disease ridden "hell". ...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. Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "IslandMan" by Grace Nichols. Consider How ...

    "How the youthful Harlot's curse". Blake explains here that these young people had no choice but to resort to prostitution. Society corrupted them and they then in turn became sinful and corrupted. Voice The poem is written through the eyes of one person, but this person wants you to experience all the oppression and social injustice that is all around.

  2. William Blake- subject, language and form

    A link is again made to the first poem where the child can not pronounce the word 'sweep' so instead says "weep" giving off distress and sadness of the young child. The child is described as "little" to induce sympathy from the reader as it shows the child's youth.

  1. Compare 'London' by William Blake and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd 1802' by ...

    To communicate this balance, Wordsworth personifies various objects to do with nature, making them more human. This includes: the river Thames, which does as it pleases, and the houses, which seem 'asleep'. Wordsworth does not usually write about cities, or about people, so he personifies them to talk about what nature teaches us.

  2. ‘Compare and Contrast the ways in which cities and city life are portrayed in ...

    by the visionary of what they have done, or more precisely what they have failed to do. It states that the blood on the palace walls is due to the sigh of the soldier. This could be because soldiers protect the palace and if they do not know why they

  1. comparison of two poems about london by William Wordsworth and William Blake

    Blake's poem is about the people of London and how they are bringing it into disrepute with their sleaze and dishonesty "harlots curse" causing London to look like a bad place because of the people living there. While in Wordsworth's poem he doesn't mention any people just the beauty of

  2. Compare and Contrast the Poems 'London'By William Blake And 'Composed UponWestminster Bridge' By William ...

    To show this Blake uses oxymorons such as 'chartered' and 'flow'. Another oxymoron used is 'marriage hearse'. Hearse is used for funerals, when used in a sentence with marriage that is considered a happy event they are contradicting each other. Blake also uses alliteration, to show the effects on everyone.

  1. Compare and contrast the views of London given by Blake in 'London' and Wordsworth ...

    This 'abab pattern' system also draws more attention to the last word of each line. The sounds of London are stressed with the rhyming words cry and sigh in: "...chimney-sweeper's cry" and "...hapless soldier's sigh." The ugliness and death are reinforced with, "...harlot's curse," and "...marriage hearse."

  2. I am going to compare three very different poems which have been written about ...

    This is quickly cancelled in the next line by 'and mark in every face.' This highlights the negativity that Blake is trying to show, with the word 'mark' suggesting a type of scarring or physical marking. This suggests that the people of London are permanently affected, or scarred, from what is happening around them.

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