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Compare and contrast the poems London, by William Blake and Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd, 1802, by William Wordsworth.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the poems London, by William Blake and Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3rd, 1802, by William Wordsworth. William Blake and William Wordsworth, both, once supported the French Revolution, which inspired the Romantic era with its love of freedom. Blake and Wordsworth led very different lives and both had different writing styles. It is interesting that they have both written poems about London, the capital of England, yet they have such contrasting views on this famous city. In the poem London, Blake writes about negative points in the city. The subject of the poem is the reality of life for the disadvantaged on the streets of London. Blake talks as if he is one of the locals and knows London like 'the back of his hand'. I believe that London reflects Blake's own opinion because he was a known supporter of the French Revolution, so the perspective expressed in the poem fits what Blake would think. So I will refer to the narrator as Blake. In the poem, Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Wordsworth writes only about the positive points in the city. It is apparent that the poem is Wordsworth's own feelings from the title and the way it is written. Wordsworth talks about an overview of London and describes the city from the outside. ...read more.

Middle

They have no freedom at all even in their own minds where they make their own thoughts. These 'mind-forg'd manacles' maybe due to the deep depression the unfortunate of people of London who have no money and have been forced to send their children to work at extremely young ages, just to survive. Some young girls even had to get into prostitution to earn enough money to live on. Something which could be the cause of the 'manacles' is, 'in every ban' this could refer to people calling out or restrictive ways of life for example the hierarchy not allowing poor people to climb up the ladder and earn themselves a decent living. Blake has an obvious hatred towards restrictions, so these 'mind-forg'd manacles' would be unbearable to him because it is known that he was a supporter of the Romantic movement and the French Revolution. Blake was all for freedom of speech and overthrowing the monarchy to make life fairer for the poor and suffering. However in Westminster Bridge, Wordsworth makes it clear that he sees nothing but freedom in London. 'The river glideth at his own sweet will:' the effect of this personification is that The Thames that Wordsworth admires is not chartered as described in Blake's London. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wordsworth is amazed at the fact that such a beautiful city exists and no one is looking and appreciating it as much as him. He also acknowledges the fact that the city, 'that mighty heart,' has still not woken up so it seems he is saying that he has not yet seen it at its best. Overall, both poems contrast greatly and show two very different views of London. Blake has titled his poem London, so the reader can assume that he is going to talk about the whole of London and the actually place itself and the way of life. Wordsworth, however, has written his poem, Composed upon Westminster Bridge in the grandest and richest parts of London so it is expected that the descriptions would be beautiful and majestic. He is also looking at the city at specific time, in the morning, so he would not have seen the real London and would probably not know what it is really like because the factories would not have started working yet so London would not be smoky as it usually was. Blake would have describing London from experience and he would have seen London for what it really was and Wordsworth would have seen it from a tourist's point of view because he wrote the poem when he had visited London for the first time. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Coursework Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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