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Compare and contrast the way Blake and Wordsworth view and describe London in their poems. To what extent are they both typical romantic poems?

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Introduction

GCSE English and English Literature Poetry Coursework Essay. Compare and contrast the way Blake and Wordsworth view and describe London in their poems. To what extent are they both typical 'romantic' poems? The romantic period was from 1760 - 1840 after people started to move away from the Classical Era of strict laws and started to think for themselves with freedom, experimentation and creativity. At the time, more composers started to write poems, songs and music to express themselves. It was the way that poets and artists viewed things, based on key areas of: purity, nature, freedom and importance of emotions, that it was called 'Romanticism' or 'Romantic period'. Sometime during this period, William Blake wrote the poem 'London' expressing his feelings about the real London which seems to be very negative. On the other hand, another writer William Wordsworth wrote a poem called 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' which gives a very positive impression of London. Both poems revolve around London but describe the capital city in two different prospective. William Blake was a poet and artist who specialised in illuminated texts, often of a religious nature. He rejected established religion for various reasons. One of the main ones was the failure of the established Church to help children in London who were forced to work. ...read more.

Middle

Wordsworth starts off by writing 'Earth has nothing to show more fair' using hyperbole about first thing in the morning. Next he writes 'Dull would he be of soul who could pass by' (which is an aesthetic feeling) in other words he's saying how can you not see the beauty of this? If you cannot then you are dead in your soul. He uses a simile and personification 'the city now doth, like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning' to describe how he thinks the city is clothed itself in nature in the morning. 'Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie, open unto the fields and to the sky' helps the reader visualise what Wordsworth can see even more clearly. The use of the word 'smokeless' in line 8 gives the reader a clue about why this scene is so powerful, because during the day the air would be full of smoke due to houses and factories, though as it is first thing in the morning everything is new and fresh. He uses a lot of opinions in his poem and emphasis's his feelings toward what he sees by writing 'Never did sun more beautifully steep' and 'Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!' ...read more.

Conclusion

Wordsworth is more visionary as he looks at something (London) and can see the potential unlike Blake who appears to see a darker side to life. I think Wordsworth poem is more honest because he writes what he sees, it may not be right, but he is able to write down what he thinks/see's even if it may not be right/realistic. Though Blake can see past everything Wordsworth is looking at and can picture the grimy, dirty, misery, bad side of London which in fact is realistic back in the 18th century. Overall I find Wordsworth's poem 'compared upon Westminster Bridge' more moving because it shows a much nicer view on the city, whereas Blake's is a depressing image. It also uses a better scheme of rhyme and gives you a feeling of the nice view of London. Even though Blake's is more realistic and gives a better view of people and London in the 1700's, Wordsworth is more idealistic and romantic, which I like to read more. Each poem is romantic, though Wordsworth seems to be more about the beauty and Blake is about the death and no future. Depending on the sort of person you are and how you view life, people will have different ideas on what London in like, Blake and Wordsworth is just one example of these types of people. By Natasha Kay - 10w2 ...read more.

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