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Compare and contrast, the ways in which Blake and Wordsworth present the city, in 'London' and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge'. How effectively do they present their views, throughout these poems?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast, the ways in which Blake and Wordsworth present the city, in 'London' and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge'. How effectively do they present their views, throughout these poems? In their poems Blake and Wordsworth both present the city of London in very dissimilar ways. They use very different structures and imagery. Throughout the poem Blake gives a negative impression of the city, whereas Wordsworth, doing the opposite, gives a positive impression of it and almost writes a love poem to London. They obviously see the city in a contrasting way because they even talk about contrasting aspects of the city, with Blake focusing on the people walking through it and Wordsworth seeing the natural beauty surrounding it. Blake and Wordsworth may have been influenced by other people, such as Hogarth a painter during Blake's time; as it is very likely that he would have seen his works, or those of similar artists. Blake lived in London for most of his life so he would be more knowledgeable about the city than Wordsworth. Wordsworth as on outside rather than an inhabitant. ...read more.

Middle

The whole poem is written in a very formal way, with full stops at the end of each stanza and punctuation at the end of most lines. The poem is written in four stanzas which do not flow into each other and are not connected in any way. Throughout 'London' Blake manages to continuously portray a negative impression of the city. Wordsworth uses a different form. The first part of the poem is divided by the rhyming scheme, there are two lots of ABBA where the first and last, and the two middle lines of the division rhyme. The last part of the poem has rhyming couplets, where alternate lines rhyme. He has used this rhyming scheme, because it is the same rhyming scheme as commonly used in sonnets. In 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' Wordsworth is not referring to the streets of London but the countryside surrounding it. He describes it as beautiful and majestic and the buildings as 'bright and 'glittering'. Wordsworth wrote the poem in the form of a sonnet and emphasises the beauty and grandeur of the city, there is a constant repetition of how peaceful and calm London is. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem is not divided into different subjects because it is generally all about the same aspects of the city. I think that both of the poets present their personal views well, we can definitely see that Blake is trying to create a negative image of the city and that Wordsworth is doing the complete opposite by portraying London as a positive place. They can not be expected to come to the same conclusion about the city when they are describing different areas of it. The poem 'London' makes the reader feel responsible for the poverty in the city whereas the poem 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' uplifts the reader. I do not think 'London' is still applicable today whereas 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge still holds more relevance in modern day England. The country is no longer suffering from such wide spread poverty compared to when Blake wrote the poem, which makes it considerably less relevant. I think that both poets present their views well throughout their poems, although 'London' is probably a more accurate description of the inner city during the 1700's and 1800's. 'Composed Upon Westminster Bridge' was probably written more to describe looking at London from a distance rather in the inner city, where less negative aspects are seen. ...read more.

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