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Compare and contrast London by William Blake with Composed upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth

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Introduction

Compare and contrast "London" by William Blake with "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth This essay will look at the two poems "London" by William Blake and "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" by William Wordsworth. It will compare and look at the differences between the mood and general message given by the two poems. Both poems are set in London and describe a day in the life of London. Reading the two poems the reader realises how the poets' different experiences of London clearly influence the way they picture the city. William Wordsworth's poem "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" is all about London's beauty and all of its glory. He describes it as if it was far away and is looking at it like a landscape. It is thought that the poem was actually written on Westminster Bridge or the idea came to him when on the bridge. Whereas Wordsworth's London describes London as a beautiful, silent and calm place, "London" by William Blake takes a much darker turn describing a cruel, dark and impoverished London where everyone is miserable, fearful and young girls are forced into prostitution. Blake, who lived in London, wanted to highlight the way people were living and wanted it to change. Wordsworth was a pantheist which means he believed god was in nature and everything living, and not in a church with expensive ornaments. ...read more.

Middle

This quote suggests that Blake thinks that in the hard life of London it is hard - maybe even pointless - to have a marriage. Another message of despair for London in the poem is in the 3rd stanza where there is an acrostic that reads "HEAR". This is another way of reaching out to the reader asking them to help London. Wordsworth has written his poem as a sonnet which is more commonly used for lovers or something of high praise. He, like Blake, brings his poem to a climax but his is of wonder and amazement at what he sees around him. Wordsworth uses enjambment in his poem so that the lines run over each other making it calmer and reflective, very different from Blake's short repetitive lines which sound sadder. There are some strong emotions shown by the writers in each poem. Such as Blake whose anger shows throughout the poem with words such as: blackening, curse and weakness. He is unhappy and angry with society and wants to scare and shock the reader into doing something about the problem. Wordsworth's emotions are more of awe at the sight before him. His poem is slow and calm but grows to a climax where he is excited to just talk about London. This is shown by the exclamation marks in the last few lines of the poem. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of course, in this day and age, there isn't any child prostitution on the streets because of the law now but there is a lot of illegal adult prostitution all over London. Blake was delivering a message to readers of poverty and corruption within the government and, with people like Blake, the situation has come to change where there is a proper police force that helps the needy and a church where people can go for help and support. I think it was quite brave of him to do this because of the ways people who wanted change for the common people often got into trouble or were killed by the government and church so as not to start rebellions. Wordsworth's poem, in contrast to Blake's poem and message, seems almost na�ve. This is because he looks at the city and is in awe of its beauty and splendour, but he describes it as if there could be no wrong in London at all, looking at a picture of it and can't see the pain, suffering and unpleasantness in the streets. Personally, if it wasn't for his pantheist beliefs, it would feel as though he had been told to write it by a higher authority so as to describe only the parts of London which weren't affected by misery and poverty. ?? ?? ?? ?? Marc Gracia 11SM ...read more.

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