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

Compare and contrast the views of London given by Blake in 'London' and Wordsworth in 'Composed upon Westminister Bridge'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the views of London given by Blake in 'London' and Wordsworth in 'Composed upon Westminister Bridge' Both these poems were written at around the 19th century - Georgian times, giving William Blake and William Wordsworth's views on London. At this time, the industrial revolution was underway and there was a vast growth in population, due to medical advances and people having more children. William Blake was born in London in 1757. He spent almost all of his life there and died there in 1827. He was the third son of a London hosier. He had no regular schooling, but as a child, he enjoyed reading, was keen on drawing and used to imitate engravings and statues. He had been writing poetry since he was only 11 and in 1792, he had his 'early poems' printed under the title of "Poetical sketches." In 1794, more poetical works appeared, and among them, "The Gates of Paradise" and "Song of Experience." His intellectual and psychological growth, however, was dominated by the influence of his brother, Robert, who died of consumption when he was 20. Blake, witnessing his brother's death, claimed that he saw his brother's soul "Ascend heavenward clapping its hands for joy," and continued, from that point on, to feel Robert's inspirational influence over his work. ...read more.

Middle

Wordsworth shows his feelings for London in a figurative way. He personifies the sun, using the personal pronoun 'his;' and the city is a 'mighty heart.' He allows them to perform human functions such as wearing clothes. These also suggest that nature and the city are alive and therefore as one. He continues this simile giving the river 'a will', something which is unique to people. Wordsworth also says 'The City now doth like a garment wear the beauty of the morning.' This gives the impression that the city is alive, not just a plain collection of buildings. I think this personification means that the city takes the beauty of the morning to disguise its' dirtiness and ugliness. He personifies the houses with "...the very houses seem asleep" 'All' makes the city seem alive. William Blake's poem conveys his feelings in a more abstract style, when he uses the people and buildings of London to represent the institutions which they are associated with. He uses the image of a church to criticise religious establishments and a palace to signify the state, and authorities who control it. He gives the image of the soldier's sigh running in blood down palace walls. Here he is attacking the monarchy and government for condemning young men to death by sending them off to fight in foreign wars. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is showing that the disease affect everyone because of the importance of the people in the society. The last line uses the image of a 'marriage hearse' being blighted by sexually transmitted disease. Marriage is supposed to be a happy occasion though here it is shown to be an institution that carries people to their deathbeds. This is because marriage is usually seen as an appropriate setting for sexual intercourse which spreads the diseases when infidelity is rife. The Wordsworth poem is slightly less melodramatic in its outlook as it just describes London at one moment in the morning. It has nothing in it that could be interpreted as relating to London's people or what the future holds for them. The Wordsworth poem is made more charged in the penultimate line where he says 'Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;' He is so overwhelmed by the city of London that he feels the need to include god's name. In contrast nowhere in the Blake poem does he use direct speech to heighten any of the emotions. Both these poems, in my opinion, share feelings of concern and disgust for London. The poem that had the most effect on me was the sonnet "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" This is because it is easier to understand and set out much more clearly. The imagery in the sonnet is very effective and gives a good visual image of London in the morning in the late 1700's. ...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. William Blake is a social critic of his time. Who does he criticise and ...

    The first two lines of the stanza the narrator is trying to say that the children are singing in a foolish mood because the narrator includes the words, '...mighty winds...harmonious thunderings...' In the third line it says that the children are singing to the elderly poor people maybe to make them feel happy.

  2. Compare and Contrast "London" by William Blake and "IslandMan" by Grace Nichols. Consider How ...

    Blake shows his genius in the third stanza when every first letter of the line spells the word "hear", this being the last word of the second stanza. This technique is known as an acrostic, and is usually used in romantic poems, however in this case the poet uses this

  1. Compare and contrast William Wordsworth's 'Composed upon WestminsterBridge, September 3rd 1802' and William Blake's ...

    Blake then grimly continues; 'And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe'.

  2. In my essay I will give some information on William Blake's history and also ...

    This is an upsetting view of life for them, as they are so young and have their whole lives to live but honestly they cannot see the point of living. It is a terrible life; all he seems to talk of is death and blackness which should not be the things on a little boys mind.

  1. Creative Writing about A Holiday in London

    I am feeling nauseous yet I stay on my feet. Just before I almost pass out, I burst through the end of the sea of people and see the gold head at the top of The Monument. It is high.

  2. 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.

  1. Compare the ways in which Wordsworth and Blake express very different feelings about the ...

    on aestheticism, nature and architecture, which can be seen from the view from Westminster Bridge at dawn. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge is a sonnet. The rhyme scheme used is ABBA ABBA DEDEDE. The rhyme is generally clear and regular, although Wordsworth does use para-rhyme in lines two and three: "Dull

  2. Compare and Contrast the news of London revised by William Blake and William Wordsworth ...

    Here Wordsworth is describing that London cannot show anything that could possibly be more beautiful than what he sees. Wordsworth then goes on and says that it is a sight so 'touching' in its 'majesty'. Wordsworth refers to the city wearing a garment as though it is a person.

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