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Compare and Contrast two poems bringing out and explaining each poet's attitude to "London", and commenting on the differences and similarities in the way they write.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast two poems bringing out and explaining each poet's attitude to "London", and commenting on the differences and similarities in the way they write. In this following essay I will be comparing, contrasting and analysing two poems written in the 19th Century by two poets. The two poems that I will be analysing are called "London" and "Upon Westminster Bridge" written by William Wordsworth and William Blake. William Wordsworth was an English poet painter, born on November 28th, 1757. Blake spent the majority of his quiet life on the Southern Coast of England from 1800-1803. The exception of which was a short visit to Felpham. He died in 1827 at the age of 70. Like Blake, Wordworth was an English Romantic poet. He was born on April 7th, 1770 Wordsworth spent most of his life in the Lake District. In "London", Blake talks about his disgust for London and how he feels a certain amount of sympathy for its inhabitants. In the first stanza Blake says "I wander thro' each charter'd street". ...read more.

Middle

In the same stanza he says "And mark in every face I meet", by this he means that he is able to see the depression in the city, caused by poverty, greed among other things, all of which are effecting the rich and the poor. He repeats the word "mark" to reinforce the point that everywhere he is looking he can see symbolic "marks". The use of the term "mark" also has another meaning, one of impurity, sins and scars, (which can be linked with comments later on in the poem). In this Blake may be using his technique of language to tell how, in his opinion, everybody in London is to blame for the condition, which it is was in. He comes from a lower middle class background; the son of a hosier and the tone of this poem expresses his awareness of the poverty around him "marks of weakness, marks of woes. By using repetition in the first stanza, Blake makes the reader feel that as he walks "thro' each charter'd street" he is viewing images that sicken him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He describes, "mind forg'd manacles". This means that the only thing that is preventing the people from living happy lives is their negative and depressive ways of thinking. In the third stanza, Blake makes reference to the "Chimney-sweeper's cry". At the time he wrote this poem, young children, especially young boys, were sent up chimneys to clean them. Many got trapped and died there. By reminding the reader of these conditions he makes the reader realise how horrific these events were. In this he tries to emphasise what a terrible place London was. Blake links the sweepers to the church when he says "Every black'ning Church apalls." He is saying that the church is tainting themselves by not defending the chimney-sweepers. By involving the church in this whole affair Blake brings to sight how deep this chain of corruption went with regards to authority. The coupling of the words "church" and "apalls" also has a similar effect, as they are two contrasting words. Blake simply means that the church is no full filling its role to comfort the needy and is instead turning a blind eye on the suffering. Blake believes that the church was part of the reason London was in such a state. ...read more.

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