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

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Compare and Contrast the Poems 'London' By William Blake And 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' By William Wordsworth William Blake and William Wordsworth both wrote poems centred on London, both poets were middle class citizens. William Wordsworth was a romantic poet, who was raised in the countryside living a very rural life. Unlike William Blake who was a revolutionary poet born into a rebellious family in the city of London. William Blake refused to go to school and became aware of social injustice. William Wordsworth's dislike of urban life was a recurring theme in his poetry. 'London' is a poem written by William Blake, in the poem Blake describes how he views London, and the people living there, he presents himself as a participant in the life of a busy town. As he walks through London he describes what he sees. 'I wandered through the chartered street' it is not only the imagery that shows us Blake is walking through London it is the rhyme scheme he has used, 'a b a b' this scheme is regular as to imitate walking. ...read more.


Childhood was an important theme in many of his poems. Blake begins the poem by showing the suffering he is seeing on the streets 'and mark in every face I meet' he is showing how he tell how people are feeling by the expressions on their faces 'marks of woe'. Blake then goes on to look beneath the surface to find causes of social injustice. He is appalled by the cries of suffering he hears on the streets of London. 'Every black'ing church appals, And the hapless soldiers sigh runs in blood down palace walls.' Blake does not seem to believe the government are to blame for the suffering, he thinks our chains (manacles) are produced by our own minds. In a sense he is saying that we are all responsible for what is happening around us. 'The mind-forged manacles I hear' he is saying that the people of London are mentally trapped; he uses the word 'hear' although talking about some thing he is unable to hear. ...read more.


Wordsworth also shows how the sun plays a big part in the beauty of London, 'Never did sun more beautifully steep' Wordsworth shows that he feels it is only beautiful because of nature causes it to be so. Wordsworth's view may be more appealing as he can see the countryside, 'Open unto the fields' and Blake's view is limited as he is on the streets, 'I wander through every chartered street'. Blake lived in London and his poem shows him immersed in it. Wordsworth on the other hand was aware that he did not live there permanently, and shows this in his poem. Wordsworth with a metaphor 'heart' this could mean one of two things, either Wordsworth realises that the 'heart' is beginning to beat, wake up. It also reminds the reader that London is the 'heart' of the country, we are made aware that the smoke will soon emerge from factories beginning to start working, polluting the 'smokeless air'. Although this last line is negative it is not as pessimistic as Blake's 'Marriage hearse'. ...read more.

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