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Compare and Contrast the Images Of London in Blake's 'London' And Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge '

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast the Images Of London in Blake's 'London' And Wordsworth's 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' The two poems show a view of London at two different times of the day. 'London' by William Blake shows a horrible side of London in the late hours of the night: "But most through midnight streets I hear, how the youthful harlot's curse," and "Mark in every face I meet, marks of weakness, marks of woe". Where as 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' implies that London is a beautiful place. From where Wordsworth sits in the early hours of the morning, he sees a natural beauty forming before him: "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by". Both poems have a slow, 'sleepy' pace to them. 'London' is set in a more depressing mood, where the prostitutes are moaning, there is woe all around. The title of Blake's poem is short an sharp and emphasises how bleak he feels it is. ...read more.

Middle

The use of a sonnet for Wordsworth's poem is a stark contrast to Blake's. He used no such structure, as his poem is looking at London as a dark and unromantic place. Wordsworth's intended audience was probably the people living in London at that time or he may have been hinting at people outside of London to visit. It is very unlikely that Blake did not intend to have the same audience as Wordsworth, as the people living in London would not like to hear words like "appalls" (sic), "woe" and "cry" in a poem about the city they live in. I, however, agree with both of these poems. It is true; in the early hours of the morning in the nineteenth century that London would probably look beautiful, being able to see the fields surrounding the city and the sky free of smoke: "All bright and glittering in the smokeless air". But, as Blake writes of London being terrible and 'chartered', he is also right. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blake also says "mind forg'd manacles" which gives the impression that the public were controlled - most probably by the government. This links to the French Revolution here, because the peasants overthrew the government in France and this suggests that it could happen in Great Britain. Blake sees London through the emotions of the people around him and writes of their sorrow and harrowing experiences: "And the hapless soldier's sigh". The only mention of people in 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' is: "Dull would he be of soul who could pass by". Wordsworth uses many different ways to express his feelings - for example, Wordsworth uses personification: "Houses seem asleep!" and syntax: "Ne'er saw I" instead of "I ne'er saw". Blake doesn't use personification, similes or oxymoron in his poem of London. As I have indicated, Blake's 'London' and Wordsworth's 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' are almost totally the opposite: Blake's view through the poem is personal, 'unromantic' and depressing. Wordsworth's view however is beautiful, romantic and cheerful. Wordsworth was influenced by Jean Jacques Rousseau's profound love of nature and there are many examples of this in 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge'. ...read more.

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