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Compare London and Westminster Bridge.

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Introduction

London and Westminster Bridge These two poems, though written within 10 years of each other, convey very different views on London. They were both written during a time of revolution and change. Both these poems were written at the turn of the 19th century, in Georgian times, to illustrate the authors' views on the City of London. At the time, the industrial revolution was underway and there was a vast growth in the population, due to medical advances and a more promiscuous culture with prostitution in the formation of new cities. There was a revolution started in France and because it was a respected country within Europe at the time, with its pioneers in architecture, gardening and thought, the French had major influence in England. Being its neighbouring country it caused ripples of change and rebellion in European thought. This affected many people in England; the poet Blake was one of them. His revolutionist ideas were conveyed in this poem, London. This was contrary to Wordsworth's poem, Upon Westminster Bridge, which picked out the imagery of London and its glory, without relating that the frivolous consummations of the monarchy and the church, created a vast gap between the rich and the poor, which Blake picked up on. ...read more.

Middle

Wordsworth is viewing the city in the morning, when the city would be very quiet and peaceful. Wordsworth was also standing on Westminster Bridge; from which he had a higher, isolated view over the scene of London. At dawn, London would be showered with the golden light of the sun, the river would appear to gleam and the un-crowded streets would be filled with crisp air. The ground would be covered with dew, all idealistically perfect compared to the reality that within one hour of his view, the streets would awake and the whole scene would change. Blake had a completely different viewpoint on London, his first line opens with a romantic "wander" through the "chartered" streets, this is a contrast, he himself whilst romantic and free thinking, is in a city governed by rules, entrapments and corruption. He then repeats this idea in the next line with the chartering of the themes, contrary to Wordsworth's gliding river, this implies that London is overpowering nature. He then alliterates "marks" 3 times to give an exaggeration of the theme of suffering. "Every" from the 3rd line is then repeated in the second stanza to generalise everyone as saddened, depressed and constricted. Blake's poem is different to Wordsworth's in its entirety. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blake's entire poem is blunt and to the point, describing what was going on and that he was unhappy about it and the fact that people were ignoring it. Wordsworth's poem is far less melodramatic than Blake's, it is a snapshot in time of London in the morning, with no look at the types of people who live there, or of their pasts and futures. Blake's overall poem display a message of sadness and disgust towards London, its monarchy and the authorities housed there. I think that the style of Wordsworth is very ineffective at relating his like for London as it seems to almost be sucking up to London's builders and rulers and so it does not provoke strong feelings or thoughts. Even if the reader acknowledges there is sarcasm in the style, it still does not show accurately the problems of London or that anything should be done about it. Blake's poem on the other hand is very effective at relating his own feelings towards the city, and of provoking our own so that we are appalled by the conditions and mistreatment people were forced to live with at the time he wrote this. I prefer Blake's poem because the atmosphere he builds, through his phrases and his technique, is far more powerful than the atmosphere Wordsworth attempted to make. It is far more descriptive and flows more poetically than Wordsworth's and I believe he was overall a better writer. ...read more.

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