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Compare and Contrast William Blake's 'London' and William Wordsworth's 'Composed on WestminsterBridge'.

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast William Blake's 'London' and William Wordsworth's 'Composed on Westminster Bridge'. William Blake and William Wordsworth were both poets of the romantic era. William Wordsworth's 'composed on Westminster Bridge' and William Blake's 'London', are poems written in Georgian times, around the nineteenth century. These poems portray each of the authors' personal views of the City of London. 'Composed on Westminster Bridge' is a sonnet where as 'London' is made up of four, four lined stanzas. The main subject of these poems is the city of London, however it is clear that each poet takes a different point of view of the city. Wordsworth's view on London is for the wealthier inhabitants of the city whose views are that it is 'all bright and glittering'. In contrast Blake's poem, far from being a celebration of the city is an attack on it. Blake uses first person, 'I wondered...' to describe London where as Wordsworth uses the form of the narrative to get his views across. ...read more.

Middle

It uses an A-B, A-B rhyming scheme to make the poem sound similar. This system also accentuates the last word in each line. Each verse of Blake's poem attacks a different aspect of London. The city of London was, as it is today, the centre of commerce and finance, where money was made. This is what Blake is attacking in his first verse, the fact that a lot of money was being made by very few people. '... each chartered street, Near where the charted Thames does flow'. Corporations such as the East India Company had charters, which gave them monopoly privileges. The profits were enjoyed by very few. In the second stanza, Blake deals with the oppression of the state and its, 'Mind-forged manacles over the masses...' He hears the cry of oppression 'of every man, in every infants cry... in every voice, in every ban.' This poem was written not long after the French revolution, the authorities were nervous of such a thing happening in Britain. ...read more.

Conclusion

'This City now doth, like a garment wear, The beauty of the morning...' This makes you feel that the city is not just a collection of buildings, but is alive. Another human quality is given to the river which 'glideth at his own sweet will'. 'His' and 'will' are the personification in this instance. Wordsworths description of London would not be out of place in a travel log as part of the grand tour of Europe. Having read it, and going to London to see for yourself that 'Earth has not anything to show more fair', it not be long before you saw Blake's 'London' where 'the chimney sweeper's cry'. (If you visited it in the nineteenth century). Where Wordsworth can be accused of hyperbole in his extravagant description of the capital of England, Blake can be found guilty of the opposite, understating it. The last comparison to make is possible the hardest, which poem I prefer? I prefer William Wordsworth's, 'Composed on Westminster Bridge', as it is easier to read, recite, learn and most importantly, I believe is it the nicer out of the two, it isn't depressing, but uplifting. ...read more.

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